Feb 5, 2013 - Business Permit    No Comments

Motsepe family donates to the poor

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Businessman Patrice Motsepe announced on Wednesday his family will contribute at least half the money generated by their assets to the Motsepe Foundation.

“We want to build a track record where ordinary South Africans can really feel that they are making a difference,” Motsepe said in Johannesburg.

“Let me emphasise that the challenges are huge…. It [the money donated] would not significantly deal with the challenges that face our country.”

Motsepe said it was important for those who were successful to help the less fortunate. “We are not going to allow you to suffer alone,” said Motsepe, who is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.

He and his wife Precious had decided some time ago to donate the funds to uplift poor and disadvantaged South Africans, he said.

They intended to, and were duty-bound, to ensure the giving would happen in a way that protected the interests and retained the confidence of their shareholders and investors.

He said his family had decided to join the Giving Pledge, which was initiated by billionaire investor Warren Buffett and the foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.

It encourages wealthy families across the world to give at least half of their wealth to charity.

With Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga present at the announcement, Motsepe said education remained one of the best investments in any country.

He said donations would go towards improving the lives and living conditions of the poor, disabled, unemployed, women, youth, workers and marginalised South Africans, and Africans and other people around the world.

SA – the Good News via SAPA

Feb 5, 2013 - Business Permit    No Comments

South African wine industry ‘optimistic’

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Following a few very tough years, the South African wine industry is optimistic on the back of record export levels, good prospects for this year’s harvest, the penetration of new markets, and growing praise from high-profile wine critics, says Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch.

South African wine exports for 2012 reached 417-million litres, 10-million litres more than the previous record of 407-million litres achieved in 2008 and a 17% increase on volumes in 2011, Birch said on Monday.

“The record levels are the result of a more favourable currency, as well as the global shortage of wines, stemming from a significant drop in the recent harvests of competitor wine-producing nations in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand,” Birch said in a statement.

Birch said all indications were that this year’s local crop could be the third-biggest in recorded history. “This is assuming that good weather conditions continue, there is a speedy and peaceful resolution to the farmworker strikes, and harvests come in on time.

“The anticipated crop size is despite a decrease in total plantings, thanks to one of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years.”

Birch said that while bulk (i.e. non-packaged) exports accounted for 59% of volumes in 2012, this was in line with a growing global trend. She explained that over the past decade, bulk wine exports from the major New World wine-producing countries had risen from around 20% to over half of wine volumes traded, against the background of protracted recessionary market conditions.

“The reality we face also confronts Australia, Chile, Argentina and even New Zealand.”

She said while packaged wines generally offered higher returns, local producers had been forced to accept that to compete globally, they had to provide what the mainstream markets wanted.

“Obviously we would prefer the accent to be on packaged wines, from a reputational perspective for Brand South Africa, in terms of job retention in the packaging industry and also to maintain sustainable profit margins for producers. We are therefore greatly encouraged by the recent growth of packaged exports to North America, Japan, China, as well as several increasingly affluent African nations, all to regions where we have been increasing our marketing investment.”

She said the industry had also been buoyed by the growing confidence in South Africa as a top wine-producing country among high-profile international critics, whose opinion carried great weight in the global wine business fraternity as well as with consumers.

“Over the past few weeks we have had praise from the likes of Neal Martin, who reviews for Robert E Parker’s world-famous The Wine Advocate, and who has singled out South Africa as currently the most exciting New World wine country, as well as from Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar, the UK’s Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Sarah Ahmed and Germany’s Eckhard Supp.”

Birch said that while the industry regretted the current labour unrest in the Western Cape, huge strides were being made to ensure decent working conditions on all wine-producing farms.

“The local Fairtrade office has confirmed that South Africa now has the highest number of Fairtrade-accredited wineries worldwide, with 65% of Fairtrade wines sold globally coming from our country.”

At the same time, Birch said, there was steadily growing support for the Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade Association (Wieta), with increasing numbers of producers subscribing to its code of good conduct. This was particularly after the international market reacted positively to last year’s launch of the Wieta ethical seal, a world-first that provides a guarantee of fair labour practices.

“Wieta accreditation for rigorously audited fair labour conditions has accelerated since last year and with the increase in producer and worker training sessions scheduled, prior to auditing sessions, we expect many more labels to qualify during this year,” Birch said.

Some of the South Africa’s biggest producers have already earned Wieta accreditation for their labels, including Distell, Spier, Fairview and Robertson Winery.

SA – the Good News via SouthAfrica.info

Jan 21, 2013 - Business Permit    No Comments

SPEAKING NOTES FOR THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB BY HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER NALEDI PANDOR

Court Classique, Arcadia, Pretoria

Thursday 13 December 2012

Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to the National Press Club for hosting this media briefing. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us this morning.

I join President Jacob Zuma, and millions of people world wide, in extending my best wishes to our former President, Nelson Mandela, who is currently undergoing treatment at the No. 1 military Hospital in Pretoria. I look forward to his early release so that he can join his family for the festive season.

Since I was appointed in October this year, I have familiarised myself with DHA programmes and plans. I have visited several passport offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. I was impressed with what I saw and heard. The DHA has made progress. I am satisfied that plans are in place to improve efficiency through digital innovation so we are able to issue IDs and passports faster than before and as painlessly as possible. We are also making improvement in the permit units.

I intend to consolidate the gains made so far, while tackling the weaknesses and challenges the Department faces.

National Population Registration campaign

The DHA will continue to mobilise around the objectives of the National Population Registration campaign, launched in 2009, to register children within 30 days of birth, and to issue all 16-year-olds with IDs.

Registration of births within 30 days

Since 2009 there has been a steady increase in the number of children being registered at or soon after birth. Hospitals, clinics and some health-care centres are connected online to the DHA. Where they aren’t connected online, they use mobile connections. Stakeholder forums have been very helpful in entrenching the improvement of birth registration in all communities.  

We will continue to do everything in our power to popularise the campaign. It is illegal not to register. In the near future, we will be introducing penalties for the failure to register. On New Year’s Day I will visit Hospitals in Cape Town where I will issue birth certificates to mothers of first babies born in 2013. Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan will visit maternity hospitals in Johannesburg where she will also issue birth certificates to mothers of the first babies born in 2013.

Mobilisation of 16-year-olds to apply for IDs

The DHA will continue with its campaign to mobilise 16-year-olds to apply for IDs. Officials have visited a number of schools around the country to encourage 16-year-olds to apply for an ID. In addition, we have set up an sms service for matriculants to apply for IDs.

We hope to extend this campaign to target 15- and 16-year-olds when schools reopen for the 2013 calender year 

Smart ID card and modernisation programme

Earlier this year the DHA ran a Smart ID Card pilot. The smart ID card will replace the current green bar-coded ID. The pilot was a success and in the new year we will make an announcements on the implementation of the smart ID card project.

We are on track with our modernisation programme – the upgrading of IT infrastructure; live capture systems for IDs, passports, permits and visas; and the new National Population Register system.

Duplicate IDs

According to our records there are 29,677 individuals with duplicate IDs. We published the list of 29,677 South Africans with duplicate IDs. We also commissioned TransUnion to track down the holders of duplicate IDs. We took this extraordinary step because if you have a duplicate ID you won’t be able to hold a bank account, access social grants, housing and other government services or enroll for further education and training. Yet few of those on the list have come forward to have their ID conflicts resolved. We will try again. Once we have made contact, we will invalidate the duplicate IDs, remove them from our National Population Register, and advise all banks and other relevant government institutions.

Unabridged birth certificates

From 2013 we will only issue unabridged certificates. The unabridged birth certificate will be issued on the spot, reducing the turn-around time currently experienced when applying for the abridged birth certificate. The unabridged certificate will be issued free of charge to all first time applicants.

South African Citizenship Amendment Act

Implementation of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 (Act No. 17 of 2010). The South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 will be implemented with  effect from 1 January 2013 and its main objective, is, amongst others, the following:

  1. To amend acquisition of citizenship and provide that any person born of one of the parents being a South African citizen acquires citizenship by birth if born in or outside the Republic, which is a departure from the current Act which makes citizenship of a person born out of  the Republic as citizenship by descent even though one of the parents is a South African. Citizenship by descent will now be for those children of different citizenship adopted by South African citizens.
  2. To amend, in order to make it clearer that any person who makes an application for naturalisation must have been ordinarily resident in the Republic for a continuous period of five years after having been granted permanent residence and such personwould now have to spend not more than 90 days out the Republic in a year.

Finally, it further introduces the principle of reciprocity regarding dual citizenship. This means that dual citizenship will only be permitted if the country of origin allows dual citizenship and if not allowed, the person  will have to renounce such citizenship.

Training has already been conducted in all Provinces (except for one – Free State, which will be trained in due course) and the Department is ready to implement the new Amendment At with its Regulations. The Proclamation and the Regulations will be published in the Gazette in due course.

Refugee reception centres

We will locate refugee-reception centres on our borders. A feasibility study has been conducted and we are working with National Treasury and the Department of Public Works to procure office space. We do not intend to establish camps for refugees.

Lindela repatriation centre

At Lindela there is a transit facility from where we deport foreign nationals who are illegally in South Africa. Lindela is neither a centre for holding asylum seekers nor a detention centre.  Over the past few weeks, the Human Rights Commission and other interested parties have brought a number of cases against the DHA for holding deportees at Lindela for longer than 120 days. Under section 34 of the Immigration Act (2002) no deportee can stay at Lindela for longer than 120 days.

We will monitor the number of days each illegal immigrant spends in the facility. The centre management will file reports with the DHA and where necessary escalate such cases to the Ministry to ensure early resolution.

Border management agency

Many countries have taken steps to ensure that there is an integrated and effective management of borders to prevent the traffic in illicit goods and the passage of illegal foreign nationals. At the moment, the following Departments are involved with border operations: the Departments of Defence, Home Affairs, State Security Agency, Agriculture, Health, Transport, South African Revenue Services, and South African Police Services. Each department plays a key role in ensuring the security of the country in terms of the movement of goods and people through our borders and ports of entry. All the functions currently performed by individual departments must be strengthened and coordinated as part of managing immigration securely and effectively.

A single authority is needed to ensure co-ordination. I look forward to the finalization of such a policy so we can deliver quality services to all those travelling across our borders and through our ports of entry.

Festive season and AFCON

We are ready both for the many visitors expected during the festive season and for the football fans coming to the African Cup of Nations. We have made special arrangements for the period from 13 December 2012 until 28 February 2013. There will be over 300 additional immigration officers at our busiest ports of entry and there will be extended opening hours as well.

Season’s greetings

As 2012 draws to a close, let me take this opportunity to wish all South Africans and foreign nationals who will be travelling through our ports of entry a safe festive season. We remain committed to facilitating your smooth transit through our ports of entry with our extended operating hours and additional staff.

If you drive to your various destinations to be with your families and loved ones, I urge you not to drink and drive. Let us all play our part in ensuring that we have a safe and enjoyable holiday

Dec 30, 2012 - General    No Comments

SAMI 2012 Review

This year we expanded our marketing and admin  team , having grown thanks to God’s blessing on our business .

One of our big highlights have been the 218 Section 11(2) Short Term Work Permit approved  -we are  proud to announce our involvement with SAPPI and GoCell in their development project for their Cellulose Mill in Ngodwana – We also would like to thank the Department of Home Affairs in their expedited approval of these permits. Getting this team into SA in a short space of time and accommodated was a logistical feat of excellence thank to the team of Inqaba . This project will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Mpumalanga region

Our online footprint has expanded thanks to a dedicated IT team .

The beginning of 2012 started with so many challenges and hurdles and here we are at the end of 2012 looking stronger than ever , a bigger team than ever proving that focus , tenacity , goals and perseverance plus lots of hard work coupled with team work can turn any adversity into success .

During a time of huge challenges in that staff changed in the Department of Home Affairs sometimes with us having to make huge adjustments to our responses to them , new views on existing policies by the incumbents  leading us having to engage them on several fronts including legal action instituted to reinforce our viewpoints . Overall we are satisfied that we have served our stakeholders our clients , Home Affairs to the best of our abilities and  whilst some permits remained outstanding we know we have done our best in extremely trying circumstances .

To those of you our clients who stood behind us , believed in us , fought with us and afterwards said no hard feelings we wish to thank you because of you we have grown and through all your feedback we have used this as a platform to be built on to get better at what we do .

To my team @ SAMI well done !!! for 2012!!!! , here is to a fantastic 2013. Thank you for the dedication and the hard work ,the last minute submissions etc ,  you are the true heroes . I salute you !!!

Rod Maxwell

CEO

Dec 28, 2012 - Business Permit    No Comments

Fewer Christmas holiday travellers

2012-12-25 18:20

Johannesburg – The number of people travelling through South Africa’s ports of entry, about 2.8 million, is down by 3% from the previous year, the department of home affairs said on Tuesday.

The figure includes both South Africans and foreign nationals who passed through immigration from the start of December, the department said in a statement.

About 2.9 million passed through immigration in the same period in 2011.

The department said of the foreign nationals departing during the holiday season, 12 013 were from Mozambique, 11 650 from Zimbabwe, 11 169 from Lesotho, 3 210 from Botswana, 1 268 from the United Kingdom, 853 from Namibia, 754 from Germany, 736 from the United States and 665 from Zambia.

The department also tracked the arrival of foreign nationals during the festive period.

A total of 8 196 were from Lesotho, 5 152 from Zimbabwe, 3 748 from Swaziland, 3 079 from Botswana, 3 028 from Mozambique, 1 959 from the United Kingdom, 1 438 from Germany, 1 302 from the United States, 905 from Namibia and 832 from the Netherlands.

The seven ports of entry with the highest reported traffic were OR Tambo International Airport, Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek and Cape Town International Airport.

Dec 28, 2012 - Business Permit    No Comments

Busa optimistic about Manaung decisions

Dec 21 2012 15:00 Sapa

 

 

Johannesburg – Business Unity South Africa on Friday welcomed policy decisions taken at the ANC’s Mangaung conference as positive for the economy and the country as a whole.

“Busa… found the overall message from the conference as positive and confidence-building for the country in general,” it said in a statement.

“Additionally, key economic decisions which were adopted will now hopefully boost investor confidence and spur economic growth.”

The business umbrella body singled out the ruling party’s decisions to reject nationalisation and its endorsement of the National Development Plan.

However, it said, for the plan to have a significant impact, true collaboration between government, business and labour was necessary.

It said business remained committed to working with government to address the challenges of unemployment, education and corruption.

 

 

Dec 28, 2012 - Business Permit    No Comments

We must unite to get South Africa working

Cyril Ramaphosa, Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 23 December 2012

The ANC’s 53rd national conference has finally provided certainty on a number of wide-ranging economic policy debates.

The conference could not have been more timely, given the challenges facing South Africa.

The gathering of the 4500 delegates representing ANC membership from the villages, townships, cities and suburbs of our country, took place to, among other things, reviews the progress made in implementing the resolutions of the 52nd conference in Polokwane in 2007, and adopt resolutions that will guide our movement for the next five years.

True to our culture in the ANC, the conference did not disappoint with the robustness of the debates.

There is no doubt about the significant progress that has been made in implementing the resolutions of Polokwane.

From a policy point of view, a New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Plan Three, at the centre of which is the creation of jobs, have been put in place and are being implemented.

The government will be spending hundreds of billions of rands in the next five years developing key economic infrastructure, including railway lines, ports and roads. The foundations have been laid, but few of the results of this work have yet been realised. However, there have also been challenges that need urgent attention.

Polokwane did not anticipate the extent of the volatility emanating largely from the deteriorating global economic environment. The decline in the demand for our products from our trading partners exposes our dependence on the export of commodities.

Our domestic situation has also offered opportunities and presented threats which we must consider seriously.

Unlike many developing countries, we have a strong private sector, and our economy has largely been resilient in the face of the global financial crisis.

Our debt-to-GDP ratio is among the lowest in the world, and we have the biggest endowment of mineral resources in the world.

But our economy is not growing fast enough to enable us to create sufficient jobs. At the same time, our labour-relations system is not holding up in the context of the increasing inequalities and social gap in our country, now recognised as among the greatest in the world.

Some of these problems have started to concern some in the investor community and local businesses. While the concerns are legitimate, what triggered them are issues the ANC has been seized with for some time. We have always been aware that the historical socioeconomic marginalisation of the majority of our people needs to be addressed as soon as practically possible because our social stability will not be sustainable if they persist.

We accept that these matters require clarity, consistent communication and the implementation of policy. The national conference has now adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) as a vision for the country that is consistent with ANC policies, and has mandated the leadership to lead the whole of society in having the vision realised. Fortunately, most sectors of society – including the cabinet – have accepted and endorsed the plan. Now we need to start making the hard policy choices and effectively implement them.

In this regard, the conference has reaffirmed the centrality of the developmental state in driving economic development, and the NDP calls for the strengthening of state capacity.

The plan is to get South Africa working, and the NDP contains a set of interventions that will lead us to growth and development – and we need both.

The national conference has called for social dialogue between the government, labour and business to coordinate the implementation of economic policy.

Concretely, a partnership is required to grow our labour-absorbing industries, like manufacturing and infrastructure-build programmes. We also need to exploit the advantage of our natural resources in mining and agriculture.

The recent volatility in the global financial markets as well as the downgrading of the country by rating agencies should also strengthen our resolve to increase domestic savings for investments.

These interventions require a proper identification of South Africa’s core competencies in those areas, and then to build strategies around them.

These are as much decisions about what we will do as about what will not do, based on our competitiveness and developmental aspirations.

Our guiding light in such a social dialogue should be the reduction of poverty and inequality, and the creation of jobs. Social partners need to understand that what is at stake is the future of our country, and an entire generation of youth that will be lost if we concern ourselves only with narrow sectoral interests.

The development plan echoes this call when it asserts that trust and cooperation are require for our development and growth.

In the new year the ANC will rapidly develop a programme of action to realise the NDP’s objectives – and all our deployees have been instructed to ensure that all these objectives are integrated in all economic activities and other social interventions to speed up the socioeconomic emancipation of our people.

This can only be achieved if we all pull together and embrace a common vision.