Category Archives: Business

NINE SOUTH AFRICAN WORKERS SACKED FOR A SONG

JOHANNESBURG An advocate representing nine workers who were dismissed for singing a struggle song with racial lyrics, has argued that workers cannot simply be fired over a song.

Advocate Chris Orr has been arguing in the Constitutional Court here to oppose an application by Duncanmec, a manufacturer of Refuse Handling Equipment and Dry Bulk Road Tankers.

The company, based in East Rand, near here, is applying for leave to appeal the decision of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA ) and the Labour Court which ruled against it.

Duncanmec dismissed the workers after they sang a struggle song which contained the words hit the boers.

Orr also says this issue should not even be before the Constitutional Court.

We say the reason why we need or why this court needs to develop this default position is that if we start to fix things in the workplace, we can start to fight things in society,” he argued.

“Now my Lord, essentially, I understand my learned friend to be saying this court should formulate policy around the manner in which unfair dismissals should be approached. And that surely is a job for the legislature and not for the court.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Premier Sisi Ntombela visits Transnet School of Engineering, 31 May

Premier Sisi Ntombela together with Members of her cabinet will be welcomed to Transnet School of Engineering tomorrow 31 May 2018. Here the Premier will be audience to a presentation to delivered by The Manager of Transnet before she and the members of the executive council are taken on a tour of the premises.

Source: Government of South Africa

Probability of salvaging VBS Bank “lower

Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo says while curatorship in VBS Mutual Bank is ongoing, early indications are that the probability of saving the bank are lower.

While there is no guarantee that investments that municipalities made into the bank would be repaid, Naidoo said the curator would do everything possible to ensure that deposits of less than R50 000 are protected.

Naidoo said this when the Reserve Bank, the curator and other regulatory institutions appeared before the Select Committee on Finance to give an update on the ongoing curatorship at the bank on Wednesday.

The curatorship is ongoing We have every intention to continue with the curatorship to try to protect deposits and interests but I should state that the level of confidence we have that this bank can be saved and salvageable is lower than on the day that we started the curatorship.

I am not saying it is zero. I am not saying there is no chance. We will continue to work in that direction. But given what we know following two months of curatorship and preliminary investigations, the probability of salvaging this bank is lower, Naidoo said.

Naidoo’s remarks come hardly two months after the Minister of Finance, under the recommendation of the Registrar of Banks, put the mutual bank under curatorship following concerns of liquidity problems.

After VBS was placed under curatorship on 11 March, SwizeNtsalubaGobodo was appointed as the bank’s curator.

Key to the concerns raised by the Reserve Bank included issues related to inadequate and questionable governance and risk management practices; a deficient compliance function and culture and an aggressive growth strategy in the bank’s balance sheet amidst funding challenges.

Questionable integrity

Municipalities were reportedly informed by National Treasury that the Municipal Finance Management Act did not make provision for them to invest in the bank.

Naidoo said preliminary findings of the curator’s assessment on 22 March pointed to the fact that the integrity of the bank’s financial information was highly compromised.

The deposits from municipalities, including what Naidoo referred to as possibly fake deposits, were used to ramp up the bank’s deposits in order for it to issue long term loans.

Naidoo said while VBS was reporting a high loan repayment rate, nine out of the 20 corporate loans that they issued were non-performing loans – meaning VBS was not receiving payments on those significantly large loans.

He said, however, that depositors who made deposits of less than R50 000 were protected.

On the date of the curatorship, we announced that depositors’ funds, retail depositors, with monies less than R50 000 deposits, will be protected. We are committed to that.

The reason it has taken us such a long time to put a mechanism in place to refund depositors is because the Reserve Bank cannot make an unsecured loan to redress. [Legislation] does not allow us to put money in without security, Naidoo said.

He emphasised that the Reserve Bank could not provide a guarantee for municipal deposits.

It is highly likely that the municipalities would lose a significant portion of the money they deposited in the bank.

We are in discussions with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and National Treasury about what we can do from our side, what the curator can do from the curator’s side.

What Cogta and the curator should be able to do is ensure that either some money is recovered or somebody makes good on some of those amounts. But it is not within our powers to be able to refund those municipalities their monies.

Our view is that from the R390 million of total deposits, if we work to set a guarantee limit of R50 000, we would probably be covering about two thirds of the deposits, but not all of the deposits, Naidoo said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA PARTICIAPTING IN EU-ACP TALKS

PRETORIA– South Africa is participating in the 107th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) gROUP Council of Ministers and the 43rd Session of the ACP-European Union Joint Council of Ministers is underway in Lome, Togo.

On the agenda is the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) which makes provision for duty-free, quota-free trade access for ACP member states to the EU market which expires in 2020.

The ACP developing countries and the EU signed the partnership agreement, dubbed the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, in Cotonou, Benin, on June 23, 2000 for a 20-year period from 2000 to 2020. The agreement governs trade and political relations but also co-operation between the EU and 79 ACP countries.

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Luwellyn Landers is leading the South African delegation for the talks, which will end on Friday. In the discussions, the parties will seek to review the partnership and how the global South stands to benefit further.

South Africa became a qualified member of the agreement between ACP member countries and the European Union in November 1995, and consequently also became a member of the ACP Group through this action.

South Africa’s trade with the EU has taken place in accordance with the provisions of the bilateral Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) between South Africa and the EU and more recently in accordance with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC-EU EPA).

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Gauteng Sport and Recreation hands over sport facilities to West Rand ...

Exciting New Sports Facilities for West Rand Schools and Communities

The landscape of Gauteng’s recreation and sporting facilities within the West Rand is fast improving.

This is as two more state of the art multipurpose sporting facilities, -also known as combi-courts -are handed over to two additional schools this coming Wednesday, 30 May, 2018.

The facilities boasting soccer fields, netball, basketball and tennis courts among others are located at Setlolamathe Primary in Kagiso and Phandulwazi Primary in Mohlakeng.

This brings to 4 the number of facilities opened within the West Rand since 2016. The other two have been opened at Toekomsrus Stadium and Phahama High School in Mohlakeng.

The initiative is made possible by the partnership involving the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Rand West City, Mogale City and Sports Trust.

Through its mass participation programme the department wants to promote healthy and active lifestyles in communities and at the same time work towards the transformation of sport.

To achieve this the department is on a drive to address shortage of sporting and recreation facilities and ensuring that everyone including previously disadvantaged communities have access to well-equipped facilities with a variety of sporting codes.

Source: Government of South Africa

Address by H.E. President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa to Members of the ...

Programme Director,

Honourable Deputy Minister Mhaule,

Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Director-General and Management of DIRCO,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today we celebrate Africa’s premier anniversary, Africa Day!

We take this opportunity to pay tribute to our forebears who bequeathed to us a dynamic vision of a unified and prosperous Continent at peace with itself and the world.

It was on this day in May 1963 that African leaders assembled in Addis Ababa and established the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU).

The OAU was an important instrument for the prosecution of the decolonisation project on our continent, the promotion of unity and the maintenance of fraternal bonds with the Diaspora.

It laid the foundation for the unity of the continent and contributed immensely to the restoration of the dignity of African people.

Its successor, the African Union (AU), is consolidating the unity of African states and peoples, setting norms and standards of governance and deepening the continent’s economic integration.

Inspired by the founding of the OAU in 1963, the AU has embedded its anticipation of the centenary of continental unity in the strategic plan for our continent � Agenda 2063.

Excellencies,

South Africa’s foreign policy will always be rooted on the African Continent, seeking to contribute towards Africa’s renaissance.

In this regard, we draw inspiration from Pixley ka Isaka Seme, whose seminal lecture at Columbia University in 1906, The regeneration of Africa, conceptualised the African Renaissance. Today, and in the future, South Africa continues to be guided by this view of the rebirth of the Continent and its great potential.

The African Agenda, which has been the hallmark of our foreign policy on the Continent is the programme through which we are seeking to realise this renaissance, predicated on Pan-African solidarity and cooperation.

As we have done since our liberation, we are determined to redouble our efforts in contributing to peace and security, development and prosperity for Africa.

We do as part of expressing our gratitude to the peoples of Africa for the unwavering solidarity and comradely hospitality which made it possible for us to wage a triumphant Struggle against the colonialism of a special kind that was apartheid.

We are irrevocably committed to the realisation of the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa’s blueprint and vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Continent, the Africa We Want.

Pursuant to this objective we recognise the adoption just two months ago of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as an iconic milestone along our journey towards an eventual African Common Market as envisioned in the 1991 Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community.

This continental free trade area is a critical response to Africa’s developmental challenges.

It will enable Africa to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, improve economies of scale and to establish an integrated market. It will also be a catalyst for industrial development, placing Africa on a path to exporting value-added products, improving Africa’s competitiveness both in its own markets and globally.

Leveraging on a population of over 1 billion people, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create a market of approximately US$2.6 trillion, thereby addressing Africa’s key development challenges such as unemployment and poverty reduction.

Excellencies,

Today, we can safely say that the experience and spectre of conflict in Africa has declined dramatically, and most Africans are more secure than ever.

The peace dividend experienced by a number of countries previously stricken by conflict – such as CAte d’Ivoire and Rwanda – has translated into unprecedented levels of economic growth for these countries. CAte d’Ivoire together with Ghana, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Senegal and Tanzania are now part of the 10 fastest growing economies.

We, however remain deeply concerned by the ongoing insecurity in the East of the DRC, in the Sahel region, including in Libya, Somalia, and the on-going conflict in South Sudan.

We are hopeful that concerted efforts by the AU and its subsidiary organisations, in cooperation with the United Nations, will lead to peaceful and durable solutions to these conflicts. These and other efforts should contribute towards the attainment of one of the goals of Agenda 2063, namely, Silencing the Guns by 2020.

By the end of this year, 20 countries in Africa would have held presidential and parliamentary elections. This impressive number of countries choosing the ballot instead of the bullet to determine its leaders is a clear indication of political progress, and the deepening of democracy on the Continent.

We wish all the fraternal countries that will be holding elections this year, a peaceful, free and fair ballot that represents the will of the people.

Excellencies,

As you are aware, the African Union’s theme for 2018 is: Winning the fight against corruption – a sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation.

The selection of the anti-corruption theme is pertinent as it raises one of the most pervasive scourges impacting on good governance and stunting economic development in Africa.

In fact corruption undermines the very fibre of the Africa We Want as envisioned in the AU’s Agenda 2063.

We are inspired by those countries that are taking bold measures in dealing with this negative phenomenon, and would encourage those that have not done so to tackle this scourge which is deferring the realisation of the African dream!

South Africa welcomes the Institutional Reforms of the African Union spearheaded by my Dear Brother, HE President Paul Kagame.

We believe these reforms should lead to a more agile, responsive and modern organisation that is fit for purpose.

In this regard it is important that the AU institutions are properly aligned; that there is better and efficient management at both the political and operational levels, and that the organisation is sustainably self-financing.

Excellencies,

Beyond the Continent, we are concerned about alarming developments that threaten the multilateral system of global governance, and that could unravel international agreements.

The revocation of binding international agreements, unilateralism and protectionism pose major threats to the rules-based international system.

We are encouraged by the discussions that took place early this week in Buenos Aires during the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting, which reaffirmed the centrality of the multilateral system, with the UN at its apex.

At the same time the meeting underscored the key role and stake the G20 has in supporting a rules-based, open and fair multilateral trading system, anchored in the World Trade Organisation.

I believe that this meeting has set the correct framework for a productive and successful G20 Leaders meeting in November this year.

Excellencies,

South Africa will assume the Presidency of the BRICS formation when it hosts the 20th BRICS Summit, in Sandton, Johannesburg, from 25 to 27 July 2018.

South Africa will continue to champion the interests of Africa within the BRICS formation and will, in this regard convene an Outreach Session with African leaders.

We believe this session will provide a platform for discussing ways and means of deepening cooperation with BRICS countries including providing support for Continental industrialization and infrastructure development programmes.

South Africa will be relinquishing the African co-chair position at the 3rd Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit that will be hosted in Beijing, China in September.

We were extremely privileged to have been part of efforts to elevate this partnership to a new strategic level as well as the Chinese commitment of providing US$60 billion for Africa’s socio-economic development.

South Africa will continue to support the incoming African co-chair in ensuring that the Continent continues to derive the maximum potential from the partnership.

Excellencies,

We are humbled by the endorsement we received from the AU to serve in the UN Security Council for the period 2019 to 2020.

We aim to use this opportunity to promote peace and security in the world, and more specifically in Africa where most of the world’s conflicts are located. As in its previous two terms on the UN Security Council South Africa will place emphasis on African Union-United Nations cooperation. As we approach the June 8elections at the General Assembly we would like to take this opportunity to solicit your support for our candidature.

Excellencies,

This year marks the centenary of the birth of the founding father of our democracy, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. As we celebrate his centenary, we remember Nelson Mandela as the struggle stalwart, freedom fighter and first democratic President of South Africa, whose commitment to justice, equality and non-racial South Africa was unwavering.

More generally we should continue to honour the life and legacy of our Continental leaders including Nelson Mandela. During this centenary year, we pay tribute to one of Africa’s greatest sons who left an indelible mark on our society, and provided an example for Africa in its pursuit for a prosperous, just, and peaceful Continent.

Excellencies,

I wish to close in the words of Kwame Nkrumah, who said: The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.

I thank you.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

LAND REFORM TOPS AGENDA, RAMAPHOSA TELLS PARLIAMENT

CAPE TOWN, May 25 (NNN-SA NEWS) — President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his stance that land reform is pivotal to restoring the dignity of South Africans and the country at large.

Land reform is fundamental to the eradication of poverty. It is fundamental to restoring the dignity of all South Africans, to foster reconciliation and to forge national unity, he said Thursday when replying to points raised during the debate on the Budget Vote for the Presidency at the National Assembly here.

It is for this reason that this government, guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, is undertaking measures to accelerate the redistribution of land, the extension of security of tenure, the provision of agricultural support and the redress of spatial inequality.

If poor people cannot own property and live close to the economic centres of our towns and cities, the cost of living will remain as high as the cost of looking for work. That is why we will not relent in our determination to use expropriation without compensation as one of the mechanisms to effect land reform.”

President Ramaphosa said instead of using land grab which is illegal, the country must look to the Constitution, which gives guidance on addressing land expropriation.

In response to questions regarding the the size of his Cabinet, President Ramaphosa said the reconfiguration of the State was not just about cutting down of government departments but rather on using resources efficiently.

The reconfiguration of the State is a far greater and more ambitious undertaking that must go to the heart of the capacity of Government to meet the country’s developmental needs. We need to address issues of structure, not just of national departments, but of all spheres and all public institutions. We also need to address issues of efficiency and resource allocation, said President Ramaphosa.

He also highlighted fruitless, wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure as something which could be addressed readily to improve the efficiency of government.

With the spotlight firmly on ailing municipalities following the release of the Auditor-General’s 2016/17 report on Wednesday, the President said a simplified revenue plan was being implemented to assist these municipalities.

The plan will look to improve revenue management, reduce municipal consumer debt, and enhance municipalities’ revenue collection potential.

In a bid to address the scourge of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal Province, the President announced that he has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising the Ministers of Defence, Police, State Security and Justice.

The IMC has begun meeting key stakeholders in the province and is expected to present a comprehensive report by the end of the month on measures to end these killings and to bring those responsible to justice, said the President.

He thanked his staff at the Presidency who assist in ensuring he gets the job done. I wish to conclude by expressing my gratitude to Ministers Dlamini-Zuma and Dlamini, the Director-General in The Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, my Acting Deputy Director-General, Mr Busani Ngcaweni, my advisers, staff, secretariat and protectors, said the President.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Presidency files notice to abide in DA application on legal costs

The Presidency has today, Monday, 21 May 2018, filed a notice in the Pretoria High Court to abide by the court’s decision on the application by the Democratic Alliance on the provision by the state of legal assistance to former President Jacob Zuma.

The Presidency has indicated that it nevertheless intends to submit an explanatory affidavit to assist the court in understanding the history, legal basis, rationale and processes relating to the provision of this support.

Source: Government of South Africa