18. Apr. 2023 Businesstech

Amid economic hardships, investors see opportunity in South Africa

The South African economy has had its roughest downturn over the last three years, and despite ranking fairly well against fellow emerging economies in the BRICS block, the persisting challenges continue to threaten hopes of a thriving economy.
These rough times the economy is experiencing has also seen business withholding capital and some redirecting it to stabilizing operations by investing in alternative power supplies instead of expansions.
Previously when the same businesses were withholding capital, it was termed “investment strike” as the capital was not being redirected but simply withheld in a ‘wait and see’ silent protest.
Both scenarios have the same impact but this time the money is being invested in a different sector of the same economy.
This is a clear indication that there is a level of confidence and optimism that business still has that was not there previously.
Government has acknowledged that central to the country’s economic problems is the failure to provide reliable electricity by Eskom.
It has also acknowledged that, unfortunately, that is not the genesis of the problem nor the only one.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned as early as last year that South Africa’s economy might not register a positive growth because of the electricity issue.
The IMF also projected the real GDP growth to decelerate sharply to 0.1% in 2023 mainly due to a significant increase in the intensity of power cuts and the weaker commodity prices.
The electricity challenge alone has pulled a handbrake on any hope of reasonable economic growth, and that has seen South Africa losing its edge as a flourishing emerging market.
Internally, the country has to contend with a shrinking economy (GDP shrunk by 1.3 in the last quarter of 2022), high unemployment rate of almost 50%, youth unemployment and long-standing high level of inequality.
When all expected the economy to dip into a recession over the last few years, strong crop exports have managed to save the economy on more than one occasion in the recent years (Agriculture grew by 19% in the third quarter last year) but with the power supply problem persisting, even that strong sector is being dragged down.
Though a bit high, government effort also contributed to saving the country from collapse. South Africa’s national debt in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) has grown from 69% in 2020, 68.98% in 2021, 67,99% in 2022 and up again to 70.73%.
The gross loan debt has skyrocketed to just over R4.3 trillion, almost double of the R2.5 trillion in the 2017-18 financial year. The debt is owed to a cocktail of creditors including IMF, New Development Bank (BRICS Bank) and the World Bank.
As bleak as the picture might look, South Africa’s economy is still the most diverse and developed in the continent. In fact, along with Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya, South Africa was one of the best-performing economies in Africa in 2022.
Our economy still boasts an estimated 12% of Africa’s overall GDP, more than 50% of the GDP is made up of imports and exports are very ‘trade-friendly’ while at least 35% of our GDP is Foreign Direct investments (FDI).
Despite the economic challenges of recent years, exacerbated the energy crisis, and resultant economic hardships, South Africa remains the most industrialised and diversified economy in Africa.
It also boasts modern communication, banking, road and general logistics infrastructure that is unmatched, and has the requisite economic fundamentals to accelerate economic growth as many global markets begin to emerge from several difficulties.
Stellantis, the world’s third largest auto manufacturer by sales and the owner of brands including Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen and Jeep, plans to manufacture and sell a million vehicles from the proposed plant by 2030, a move that would help it achieve a 70% regional production autonomy �` a true testament of South Africa’s resilient economy.
Though our saving grace over the last few years has been our strong and highly developed mining and agriculture sectors, the country still has very resilient and highly competitive industry and services sectors.
These along with manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, financial services, transport and tourism remain the country’s economic engine sectors.
Our economy, though the third largest in the continent, remains the most industrialised, technologically advanced and most diverse in Africa. And we are one of only eight upper-middle-income economies in the continent.
South Africa, when compared to its emerging market peers, has also fared very well in the post-Covid period and slightly avoided a recession twice.
This can be credited to the government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), which was crafted to rekindle economic activity post-pandemic in a manner that ensures sustainability, resilience and inclusiveness. The ERRP is also an opportunity to create a crop of new black industrialists.
To achieve this, the ERRP also aims at diversifying the manufacturing base, improving its competitiveness and dynamism, increasing its participation in regional and global markets, reducing concentration levels and achieving effective transformation.
Besides the economic statistics, further evidence that investors still have a lot of appetite to deploy capital into our economy is the rate of pledges committed at the President’s annual South African Investment Conference (SAIC) that have materialised.
Since its inception back in 2018 when president Cyril Ramaphosa announced a target of R1.2 trillion investments over the five-year term, despite the unforeseen challenges of COVID-19, at least 64% (R774 billion) of the targeted pledges from 152 major businesses were made in the first three years alone.
Over the last year, many of these commitments have resulted in the companies that made those commitments investing in new factories, call centres, solar power plants, undersea fiber optic cables, the expansion of production lines and the adoption of new technologies.
Importantly, these investments have resulted in new jobs and new opportunities for small emerging businesses. The investments that have flowed into the economy to date have contributed to a substantial increase in local production.
The current state of our economy only proves that South Africa is truly resilient.
When most emerging economies are barely recovering post-COVID-19, ours managed to absorb and survive the most paralysing pandemic years without slumping into a recession, or having hyperinflations that killed some sectors in other countries.
With almost all government’s plans to address all key issues already in motion, it is not surprising investors continue to flock to our shores. Mobilising over R2 trillion in new investment by 2028 to fast-track economic growth is a realistic and achievable target to attract sustainable investments to harness economic growth and create jobs.

27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

How to get documents from Home Affairs in South Africa

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be very time consuming. Let make the process easier for you. The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing civic certificates and documents, including marriage, death, and birth certificates. They also issue Letters of No Impediment and divorce decrees to South African citizens, but what is the best and fastest way to obtain these documents from Home Affairs? V.4998

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27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Waiver Letter Immigration South Africa for Visas

The immigration act for South Africa allows for the Minister of Home Affairs to waive certain requirements of the act. Once the requirement has been waived, an individual or corporation will be exempt from that requirement in that instance. In layman’s terms that means that the minister has the authority through the immigration act to waive a specific requirement. In order to be granted the waiver, an applicant must have a “good cause” to be granted. Your application for a waiver must be 100% sound and have good reasoning as the good cause must convince the Department of Home Affairs as to why they need to make an exemption for you. The applicant must prove that there is sufficient evidence to waive the requirement or form and then the Department of Home Affairs shall determine to either grant or refuse the waiver. V.4999

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Ways to get your police clearance certificate quickly

Find out the process of applying for a police clearance (SAPS365) and how Sa migration can help you get yours in as little as 7 days. Efficient ways to get your police clearance certificate quickly: Many South Africans know it can take a long time sometimes weeks or even months to get a police clearance certificate from the South African Police Service (SAPS). During the first half of 2022, SAPS had even more delays because their main office was closed. This made it take even longer to process these certificates at the Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria. V.4992

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Stellenbosch Business School director resigns following visa challenges

Professor Mark Smith is leaving the Stellenbosch Business School. Supplied • Stellenbosch Business School director Professor Mark Smith has had to resign from the position he held since 2020. • News24 understands this development is related to challenges with securing appropriate visas for his family. • The university says it continues to support ongoing discussions with Universities South Africa and the Home Affairs Department to `smooth out visa processes`. Stellenbosch Business School director Professor Mark Smith has resigned from his position, which he has held since 2020. News24 understands this development was a result of his family not being able to secure appropriate visas to reside in South Africa. V.4993

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Germany`s housing sector slumps into crisis

• Hundreds of homeowners-to-be across Germany have been left in the lurch as builders go out of business. • A jump in interest rates and material costs has seen twice as many developers file for insolvency over the last year than during the previous 12 months. • The German government on Monday offered a new package of measures to help ease the pressure. Valeriy Shevchenko felt like he made the purchase of his lifetime when he beat a queue of prospective buyers to secure a two-bedroom apartment in one of Berlin`s most popular districts. Two years on, the 33-year-old`s housing dreams have come crashing down after the developer of his new home, Project Immobilien, went bankrupt. Hit by a sudden jump in interest rates and raw material costs, twice as many developers have filed for insolvency over the last year than during the previous 12 months. V.4994

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26. Sep. 2023 News24

Digital nomads: How SA labour laws affect foreign employers, employees and remote workers

In the modern world of employment in which South Africa is fast being recognised as a destination of choice for remote workers, foreign employers must take care to align the employment contract to the appropriate system of law, says Bradley Workman-Davies. The Labour Relations Act (LRA), among other important functions, regulates the rights of employees whose contract of employment has been terminated, and affords the employee the right to refer a dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) upon receipt of such notice. However, the position of an employee who needs to rely on legal protection in terms of labour law within the framework of diplomatic immunity remains V.4995

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

Unabridged vs. Abridged vs. Vault Birth and Marriage Certificates from Home Affairs

Abridged birth and/or marriage certificates merely indicate the most basic details pertaining to the person to whom the document is issued. Obtaining documents from Home Affairs is generally a tedious and somewhat confusing exercise, but perhaps the trickiest part of the whole exercise is figuring out which documents you need to apply for. Do you need an abridged, unabridged, or vault copy of your official South African document? Or perhaps all three? Why are there three versions of each document, and what are the differences between them?, a document concierge service provider, provides some much-needed clarity on the topic… V.4996

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26. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

The Letter of No Impediment for South Africans

What is a Letter of No Impediment, why is it important? shares with South Africans all about it and how to obtain yours quickly A Letter of No Impediment is of paramount importance for South African citizens when traveling abroad. But what exactly is this document, what purpose does it serve, and what’s the fastest route to obtaining one if you need it? This article delves into the topic and aims to answer all these questions. V.4997

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20. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

Home Affairs in court for ‘blocking’ identity documents

No ID, no life. This is the fate of many children in South Africa who are victims of their parent’s IDs being “blocked” by the Department of Home Affairs. Their births are never registered or are registered very late; their parents cannot access child support and other grants; they are excluded from or discriminated against at school; they struggle to access health care and immunisation programmes. Without an identity number they are “invisible” to the state. These are the submissions of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, represented by the Centre for Child Law, admitted as an amicus curiae in a case to be argued this week in the Pretoria High Court. V.4986

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20. Sep. 2023 News24

Motsoaledi tells Parliament what is needed for home affairs dept to operate more efficiently

• Aaron Motsoaledi says his department will operate more efficiently with a staff contingency of 60%. • The Department of Home Affairs currently operates at 39 to 42% capacity. • Motsoaledi says backlogs may never be solved if the department does not improve its operational capacity. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the Department of Home Affairs needs a staff contingency of 60% to operate optimally - but, currently, it falls short of this target, despite pleas to the National Treasury V.4987

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20. Sep. 2023 The citizen

Motsoaledi has made up his mind’: ZEP non-renewal will affect many lives, court hears

There are no prospects of success for Home Affairs` appeal application, according to the respondents. The Helen Suzman Foundation has insisted that Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme without formal consultation was not in line with the law. The full bench of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard the Department of Home Affairs’ leave to appeal application on Monday. V.4988

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19. Sep. 2023 News24

Italy to detain migrants for up to 18 months, as 10 000 people land on one small island in a week

Italy is trying to deter an influx of migrants with a set of new measures. 10 000 migrants arrived on the shores of Lampedusa island last week, more than doubling the island`s population. Illegal immigrants may soon be detained for up to 18 months while they await repatriation. The Italian government, struggling with a surge in migrant arrivals, will pass measures on Monday to lengthen the time migrants can be held and to ensure more people who have no right to stay are repatriated, officials said V.4985

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15. Sep. 2023 Reuters

Nigeria`s power grid has collapsed again, causing nationwide blackouts

• Nigerian distributors say the country suffered a total grid collapse on Thursday. • Much the country remains without power. • Load shedding is implemented in South Africa to guard against grid collapse. Nigeria`s electricity distribution companies reported `a total system collapse` on Thursday, causing widespread blackouts across Africa`s biggest economy. Power generation fell to zero in the early hours and had risen to 273 megawatts (MW) by 10:30 still well below the daily average of 4 100 MW, data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) showed. TCN did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Grid power supply is erratic in Nigeria, a major oil and gas pro V.4983

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15. Sep. 2023 News24

Australia promises 20 years in jail for training Chinese pilots; SA school targeted isn`t worried

Australia`s defence minister Richard Marles introduced an amendment to parliament that seeks to introduce a 20-year prison term for providing military training to a foreign military. Pat Hoelscher/AFP • Australia plans to send any resident who trains a foreign military to jail for up to 20 years. • Draft legislation seems to have the Test Flying Academy of South Africa firmly in its crosshairs. • The company says the change will not affect its operations in any way just as US sanctions didn`t. Australia plans to introduce tough new penalties for any resident involved in training a foreign military not closely allied to that country. V.4984

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13. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

We are legal ghosts, Somali family’s bitter struggle to get refugee status in SA

The Department of Home Affairs is now giving appointments for refugees to apply for asylum only in 2025, even though they are required to present themselves at a Refugee Reception Office within five days of their arrival in the country. The legal team for a Somali family that has been harassed by law enforcement, refused medical assistance and given a date to apply for asylum 18 months down the line, has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to intervene and support their court case against the Department of Home Affairs. “We are legal ghosts,” Abdullahi Osman Shale said in an affidavit explaining the suffering inflicted on his family by the Department of Home Affairs. V.4981

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13. Sep. 2023 Daily Maverick

South Africa’s visa regime keeps out badly needed skilled workers

The government is blocking the potential that foreign workers can bring to South Africa’s stagnant economy. South Africa’s work visa regime is laborious, lengthy and inefficient. The process deters foreign investment, widens the skills gap and throttles productivity, economic growth and development. Between 2015 and 2021, only 16,097 critical skilled-worker permits were approved by the Department of Home Affairs. At an average of just more than 2,200 a year, that amounts to a rejection rate of 52%, for an economy with a sizeable skills deficit. The business visa rejection rate over the same period is even higher, at 68%. V.4982

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12. Sep. 2023 News24

Istanbul is as alluring as ever... and SA travellers can get free visas and hotel stays

• Istanbul is still one of the world`s most alluring cities for global travellers. • And for South Africans, it`s one of the cheapest and easiest to visit. • Türkiye issues e-visas immediately at no cost. • And Turkish Airlines, which flies direct to South Africa seven days per week, offers free overnight hotel stays or day tours to those on layovers in Istanbul. • Here`s what to see and do - and how to capitalise on a free extended layover in Istanbul. `If the world were a single country,` Ibrahim says as we gather speed along the western edge of the Bosphorus Strait, `then Istanbul would be its capital`. It`s 16:00 on a Thursday, and the temperature is still hovering somewhere around 30 degrees. The afternoon sunlight reflects off the floor-to-ceiling windows of the waterside stone palaces, their designs influenced by the world`s most powerful empires, and onto the small turquoise waves cresting around us. V.4979

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12. Sep. 2023 News24

Ramaphosa considers cutting number of government departments in South Africa

The National Treasury has reportedly written several proposals to reduce the number of government departments in South Africa. According to the Sunday Times, a secret meeting was held in Stellenbosch, where several key figures discussed these proposals. These include President Cyril Ramaphosa, finance minister Enoch Godongwana, and several top officials from National Treasury and the Reserve Bank. If accepted, these proposals would reportedly save the government about R17 billion in spending but at the cost of lost jobs. Examples of how the proposed cuts would work include: • Closing the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture and incorporating its duties into the Department of Basic Education. • Closing the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and requiring departments to manage their own buildings and assets. • Merging the Department of Tourism with the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition. V.4980

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11. Sep. 2023 The Conversation

For the marginalised, biased AI algorithms can damage almost every part of life

AI data is polluted by a set of myths from the age of “enlightenment”, including biases that lead to discrimination based on gender and sexual identity. • Bad data does not only produce bad outcomes. It can also help to suppress sections of society, for instance vulnerable women and minorities. • Algorithms generally need to be exposed to data often taken from the internet in order to improve at whatever they do, such as screening job applications, or underwriting mortgages. • But the training data often contains many of the biases that exist in the real world. Bad data does not only produce bad outcomes. It can also help to suppress sections of society, for instance vulnerable women and minorities. V.4977

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11. Sep. 2023 Businesstech

Difficult trade-offs coming to keep South Africa afloat: report

The National Treasury has reported told president Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa will have to hike value-added tax (VAT) by 1% or 2% if it wants to keep the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant going. According to the Sunday Times, this message was among many delivered at a top-level meeting called by the president this week, following the release of a Treasury memo to various departments warning of budget cuts. South Africa has effectively hit its budget limit, with revenues not meeting the February budget expectations, while government spending has continued to balloon far beyond what was planned. To avoid financial collapse, sacrifices now have to be made. V.4978

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27. Sep. 2023 SA Migration

How to get documents from Home Affairs in South Africa

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be very time consuming. Let make the process easier for you. The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing civic certificates and documents, including marriage, death, and birth certificates. They also issue Letters of No Impediment and divorce decrees to South African citizens, but what is the best and fastest way to obtain these documents from Home Affairs? V.4998

Click here for full article


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