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Construction of Jeffreys Bay Hospital to start this year

WITH a multi-million investment, creating new jobs, construction of the first private hospital in Jeffreys Bay is still set to become a reality, although the planned deadline of 2016 was missed.

Hitting a few unforeseen potholes along the way, the planned OriginHealth Jeffreys Bay Hospital will no longer be constructed on the corner of Bloukrans Street and Outeniqua Way, but will now find its new home next to Policlinic.

The application for the subdivision of the erf has been submitted to the Kouga Municipality, and the final decision on this matter is expected by mid-February.

Only after then, the redesign of the hospital can commence as it will now be situated on a much smaller piece of land than before.

According to Kouga Mayor, Elza van Lingen, the process is underway.

“A decision will be made once the town planning report has been completed and scrutinised in line with the new Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA). While we hope to see a decision made as quickly as possible, it is difficult to give an exact time frame. Consultation needs to take place with various experts and their sche- dules would impact on how quickly the application is processed.”

Construction is expected to start in July this year. Green building practices will be followed in the construction of the hospital, including the use of environmentally friendly building materials and rain harvesting.

The estimated 60-bed hospital will be designed with medical, surgical, intensive care, maternity, pediatric, radiology and emergency units, theatres and day hospital. Provision will be made for consulting rooms, more theatres and ample parking.

Emphasis will be placed on a peaceful, healing environment to offer the patient, visitor and staff a home experience with effective noise control, sound absorption, soft lighting and flow of movement.

The jobs that will be created include diffe-rent skills levels such as cleaners, general workers, administrative jobs and highly specialised jobs like medical technicians, nursing jobs and positions for other medical professionals.

While it will be the first new hospital in Jeffreys Bay for OriginHealth, OriginHealth Managing Director Dr Adrian Wentzel has been involved in the establishment of a number of hospital projects both locally and overseas. He was involved in the establishment of the Fairview Hospital in Port Elizabeth in 2015, Cuyler Clinic in Uitenhage in 1985 and currently manages the Eye & Laser Institute in Port Elizabeth.

“The Council would welcome any development that benefits our communities. We cannot comment on the proposed hospital at this stage, however, as the process is still underway. We will have a clearer picture of all the pros and cons once the town planning report has been completed and scrutinised,” says van Lingen.

Waste sector generates jobs in the green economy

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Tuesday encouraged entrepreneurs to look to the R25 billion waste sector for business opportunities in the recycling economy. Speaking at the second annual Waste Management Summit in Umhlanga, Molewa said that the waste sector had been identified globally as a critical sector with the potential to contribute substantially to the generation of jobs within the green economy.

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Speaking at the second annual Waste Management Summit in Umhlanga, Molewa said that the waste sector had been identified globally as a critical sector with the potential to contribute substantially to the generation of jobs within the green economy.

She said that a waste information baseline study conducted by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) revealed that only 10% of waste generated in South Africa was recycled in 2011 and out of 108 million tons of waste generated, 97-million tons was disposed to landfill.

This was the first summit to be open to all stakeholders in South Africa’s waste sector. Previously, only government officials were allowed to attend.

“This is in recognition of the need to streamline the coordination of waste management initiatives within the country and bring together all the role players. These includes other government departments, provinces, municipalities, private sector, civil society and the general public in order to ensure that the plight of waste management is elevated as part of government’s service delivery agenda,” said Molewa.

In 2011, Cabinet approved the National Waste Management Strategy which required all South Africans to play a role towards the achievement of the eight goals contained in the strategy.

Goals one and three required the diversion of 25% of recyclables from landfill sites and the creation of 69 000 new jobs, 2 600 additional work opportunities in the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) sector and cooperatives in the waste sector in 2016.

“We are here because we want to address the challenges facing the sector, but we are also here because over the next few days we want to explore practical solutions to these challenges, primarily through technological innovation,” said Molewa.

She said according to the General Household Survey 2014, which was aligned with the National Domestic Waste Collection Standards, 75% of South African households have access to waste services, and it was expected that this number would reach 80% by 2019.

Molewa said that for all economies that want to get ahead, entrepreneurs were needed and that the waste sector was no different.

“It is by nurturing and supporting new entrants into this space that we are able to bring new life to the innovative new technologies being discussed at this waste summit.

“It is through supporting these emerging enterprises in South Africa that jobs will be created, and avenues for new markets opened.”

Molewa said the DEA was continuing to work to “get the basics right” on waste management.

“In this regard we have prioritized the licensing of waste disposal sites. We continue to engage and empower communities affected by the negative impacts of illegal dumping and poorly managed landfill sites as well as bolstering compliance monitoring and enforcement capacity and the implementation of authorised waste management best practice.”

he said that “toxic justice” was an important discussion to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens were protected and that polluters were held responsible and prosecuted.

The three-day summit ends on Thursday.

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Economic transformation: China, SA should co-operate

“Downside risks and vulnerabilities have risen, against the backdrop of volatile capital flows, a large drop of commodity prices, escalated geopolitical tensions,” reads the communiqué of the Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Shanghai, underlining the daunting challenges facing the world economy.

Indeed, the global economy is undergoing hard times. No country can stay unscathed when economies are increasingly intertwined in the era of globalisation.

According to recent data from Statistics SA, the growth rate of South African gross domestic product (GDP) fell to 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 and overall growth fell from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent. This year the growth is expected to further drop to less than 1 percent due to various unfavourable factors.

Despite such circumstances, we still have some good news – the economic ties between China and South Africa have been strengthened rather than undermined against headwinds.

More and more Chinese enterprises are seeking opportunities in South Africa. There are about 140 medium and large size Chinese companies in South Africa now, having invested more than $13 billion (R199bn) and created a total of 30 000 jobs.

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Even in the past two years, Chinese direct investment to South Africa has kept on expanding. The assembly plant of China First Automotive Works (FAW) in Coega Industrial Park, the home appliance factory of Hisense Group, and the cement production line invested by Hebei Jidong Development Group, among others, have offered much-needed jobs for local people.

Meanwhile, most of the Chinese enterprises actively shoulder corporate social responsibility by providing training to local unskilled workers and donating to charities and green groups.

The two governments have also strengthened co-operation on human resource development. Last year China gave training to more than 400 artisans, technicians and managers for South Africa.

What’s more exciting is that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Africa in December has added more impetus to bilateral economic co-operation.

More than 20 agreements worth billions of dollars were signed at the Union Buildings, including a dozen co-operation agreements achieved by enterprises from both countries in the areas of finance, energy, automobiles, infrastructure and so on.

Although it is obvious China-South Africa economic co-operation enjoys a bright future, the speculations and doubts never stop emerging. For example, recently I often hear the rhetoric of “collapsing Chinese economy”, which misinterprets the Chinese economy’s real situation.

Undoubtedly, China’s growth is slower when compared with the past. However, against the world economic difficulties, it is by no means a small achievement to realise a growth rate of 6.9 percent on the basis of more than $10 trillion GDP, especially given the world’s average growth of only slightly more than 3 percent.

Growth driver

For decades, China has been one of the strongest engines of world economic development. In 2015 China added more than 25 percent to global growth and its demand for global products is still significant.

Last year China remained the world’s second-largest import country. The volume of commodities China imported has kept growing. During the same period, China’s direct investment to the rest of world has further expanded to $127.6bn, an increase of 10 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Recent volatility of yuan renminbi and fluctuations in the Chinese stock market have also caused concern of some analysts and become the focus of media.

To understand the issue, the point is that the fundamentals of China’s economy remain strong and Chinese policymakers still have plenty of policy tools to address the downward pressure, if at all.

China’s currency depreciation is mainly due to reforms to the yuan exchange rate formation mechanism. China has no intention to boost exports and obtain competitive advantages by devaluing its currency, neither does the yuan have any foundation of further depreciation.

Last year, the Chinese trade surplus reached almost $600bn and China still has $3.3 trillion in foreign reserves. Furthermore, with the yuan being put into the special drawing rights basket by the International Monetary Fund last year, the market is expected to enlarge its demand, which will further contribute to the stability of the currency.

The fluctuations of China’s stock market, together with similar scenes in bourses of other countries, reflect the unclear and generally pessimistic prospects of the world economy. The long-term stability could be seen from the fact that the Shanghai composite index always stayed around 3 000 points at the end of 2013, 2014 and 2015. It is true that China’s stock market is still a developing and relatively immature market and has its own problems to be addressed. But with value only accounting for roughly 60 percent of China’s total GDP, it will not significantly harm the whole real economy.

Looking ahead, the strongest driving force of China’s economic growth will be the ‘reform dividends’ from the annual sessions of Chinese National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference currently being held in Beijing. The 13th Five-year Plan and the supply-side reform, along with other comprehensive reform measures, aimed at achieving innovative, co-ordinated, green, open and shared development, will be discussed and implemented in broad spectrum. All of these will add vitality to China’s economy.

China has both the courage and ability to break the old development pattern and transform to an innovation-driven and consumption-driven economy.

South Africa is also exploring new growth areas and making its economy more sustainable and inclusive. Reforms are never easy.

For the two economies, which are both in crucial and difficult transition, the only way out lies in sharing experience and deepening practical co-operation in areas such as industrialisation, agriculture, infrastructure and trade.

Let us work together hand in hand to achieve our goals.

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South Africa’s fiery mix of economic risks

Foreign investors and rating agencies are watching every event, especially politics. The magnifying glass is out after Nenegate.

I AM no fan of hyperbole, but this year strikes me as possibly the most important year since 1994 for the economy, the medium-run direction of policy and SA’s potential for job creation and development.

There will be difficult political, microeconomic and macroeconomic choices to make in such a weak foreign and domestic growth environment. SA will be at a nexus dealing with a substantial terms-of-trade shock and Chinese slowdown, amplified by the negative effects on domestic sentiment from the political risk premia shock last month and the government’s policy choices in recent years. Add succession battles within the African National Congress (ANC), a raft of left-leaning policies as outlined in the party’s January 8 anniversary statement and a need to keep investors onside…. That is a fiery mix of risks.Investors and businesses that can understand and navigate these currents will be best placed to outperform. Indeed, I expect the result to be growth of just 0.9% this year. Our forecast does not include two quarters of negative growth — a technical recession. But I would characterise this year as a “feels like recession” year, and indeed that is what should matter to the government.

No jobs a shock signal for change

The best way to crystallise this is to say there are likely to be no (net) new jobs created in the economy for the first time since 2010, although the rate of jobs growth in recent years has already been inadequate to reduce unemployment. No job growth in so many countries is generally a shock signal for change — the question is in which direction, for the government and SA.I think next month will be the most important month, through which we should get a good sense of the direction of policy. The answer may well be confusing though. Cognitive dissonance may be the order of the day — a challenging state of the nation address for business and foreign investors (and rating agencies), but followed by a decent budget that does (in a somewhat threadbare fashion) hang together okay. These divergent forces for investors and local business mean we need to understand what is important over the medium run.

Rewinding to Nene-gate

Rewind to Monday, December 7, before the Nene-gate saga, just after the rating agencies’ downgrades the Friday before.We are currently in a position not that different to then — trusting the Treasury to deliver the goods in the political space it is given, but doubting the size and shrinking nature of that political space. With Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at the helm, investors are more confident that the space in which the Treasury can operate is slightly bigger. But the concern is that it is not that much expanded, and that thinking about it like this in the short run misses the point.Rating agencies’ reports and feedback from investors since last month indicate that the fiscal situation is not the primary concern. The situation is only a concern as a secondary consequence of wider (particularly micro-) economic policy choices by the government, and the political backdrop. The concern is what effect these policy shifts will have on growth, and then fiscal and debt risks and sustainability in the long run.

Again, we return to the idea of how the state of the economy and the political space in which the Treasury has to operate are central. Therein lies the important juxtaposition of the state of the nation address and the budget.I think investors and rating agencies will be happy with tax hikes and continued cuts to keep expenditure under its ceiling, although there will be a real test of what macro forecasts are used because the International Monetary Fund has now cut its growth projection to just 0.7% and the medium term budget policy statement forecast was 1.7%. We will, in particular, be watching the overall ZAR long-dated issuance data, which largely caused the market to sell off after the minibudget and will likely have to deteriorate again this time.However, the budget may be as good as it gets this year, both on the pure fiscal front and on the wider risk story.

This is where the state of the nation address comes in. While we already had an appetiser with the January 8 statement, this is likely to be one of the most analysed ones yet. Now investors’ eyes are firmly on the wider policy direction. We should also not forget the potential for protests at Parliament by opposition parties. Again, the question is in what direction SA moves in response to this growth shock. The government knows the budget can do little to help turn the economy around this year, but it can damage further job creation by accelerating a downgrade to junk status.

Instead, the government’s policy choice, seen through the state of the nation address, will be a minimum wage, sold as redistribution from the corporate sector, that benefits growth, revenue and employment. It will be about amplifying black economic empowerment under the existing model without fundamental reform in that area to drive true localised empowerment. It will be about more dialogue and “consensus” between the government and businesses, despite the fact that in the past 18 months, there has been a record number of meetings between the president and businesses, and with the National Economic Development and Labour Council still somewhere in the background doing this job.

Land reform and National Health Insurance are likely to appear too, wrapped into the president’s larger economic vision about redressing “300 years” of economic inequality. Indeed, that has been a key take-away from his public speeches for several months. That could well be the key defining narrative for this year, around which we need to think about policy direction.There seems little yet to shift the direction of policy from the status quo. The shock to the economy this year should be sufficiently large to drive policy forward along the existing path, but not big enough to define and then explore a new breakout path. As I said in this column last month, there are no new ideas for SA to jumpstart growth, opportunity and job creation, but old ideas need to be explored. The idea of an economic Codesa, which is increasingly being raised, could do this if all sides come with open minds and leave existing ideologies at the door, concentrating instead on aims such as maximising redistribution through job creation.

An announcement of such a forum would be a rabbit-from-a-hat for the state of the nation address and SA more generally, although its timing might be better suited to when the political environment is open to different directions and win-win agreements could be reached. I am concerned that more policies will have to be tried first, such as the minimum wage (set at a high level), before we get to a point of openness to a real Codesa-type negotiation, rather than more of the same “interactions”.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Foreign investors and rating agencies are watching every event, especially politics. The magnifying glass is out after Nenegate.

Source: rdm


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Tourism Route Creates Jobs in Cederberg

The launch of a Donkey Tracking Route through the scenic Cederberg mountains has brought jobs and hope for the remote Western Cape community.

The final phase of the Department of Tourism’s developmental project was opened by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom in Wupperthal this week.

The department has established amenities that tie in with the hiking and outdoor lifestyle of tourists to the Cederberg.

Bridges and footbridges were constructed to improve access for tourists and campsites and backpackers lodges have been developed to provide overnight accommodation, and shaded picnic sites with fencing and animal gates were built. Tourism signage has also been improved.

Tourists can book rides on traditional donkey carts owned by members of local communities along the route, which provide a unique, eco-friendly way of experiencing the mountainous terrain. Increased tourism activity along the route will be a major economic boost for the community of Wupperthal, where most families in the village and surrounding areas depend on small scale farming for a living.

The launch formed part of the Department of Tourism’s Imbizo Focus Week. Minister Hanekom engaged with people from local communities.

“Tourists are attracted to South Africa not only as a destination with diverse sightseeing opportunities, but also to experience a different perspective. Wuppertal offers these experiences in great measure,” said Minister Hanekom at the launch.

“The unspoilt, rugged landscape lends itself to hiking and outdoor activities while the history, heritage and culture of the Moravian mission station offers a unique glimpse into rural South African life.”

Partners in the project include the Cederberg Municipality and the Moravian Church, who own the land on which some of the amenities have been established. West Coast Tourism and Cederberg Tourism will help the community to market their products. The assets and profits generated will be kept in a trust for the community.

Minister Hanekom urged the partners to continue working together towards expanding the opportunities that have been created.

“There are challenges that you face as a community but what you have in this Cederberg area is something unique and special, and it should be packaged and marketed to tourists so that the benefit to the community escalates. Only by taking hands in partnership can we overcome our challenges,” he said.

The Minister opened two backpacker lodges and handed over accommodation facilities for 62 tourists and 35 camping sites to the community.

The project has been designed to be socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. The Suurrug and Wupperthal lodges have solar energy power sources, making this the first “green tourism” project in the department’s Social Responsibility Implementation Programme.

Jobs created through construction of the facilities were funded by government’s Expanded Public Works Programme. Members of the community also benefitted from skills development and training to help them operate tourism-related businesses successfully.

Source: allafrica


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South Africa receives major solar energy boost

Solar energy received a boost on Monday, when Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced a new power procurement project in the Northern Cape to deliver 1 500 MW of solar energy.

The additional procurement was a Department of Energy legacy project to mark the SA International Renewable Energy Conference taking place in Cape Town this week.

“It is a ministerial legacy project to ensure we remember this conference,” the minister told media after her opening address on Monday.

The announcement is the first step in a process that will seek bids from independent power producers (IPPs) and will likely only feed into the grid between 2019 and 2020.

Renewable energy is gaining steam both in South Africa and globally and SA’s IPP programme has been heralded as a success story.

With a target of 5 000 MW of solar energy and 5 000 MW of wind energy by 2030 in place, the IPP office has successfully attracted much-needed investment in the renewable energy sector.

In April, the minister approved 13 new renewable IPP bids, which means there will now be 79 IPP projects with 5 243 MW being added to a national grid desperately in need of power.

“To date, more than 6 000 MWh of electricity had been procured from 37 renewable-energy IPPs,” said Joemat-Pettersson.

“To date, renewable energy projects in South Africa have resulted in 20 000 jobs for South Africans and attracted R192.6bn in investment,” she said.

IPP office for Africa

Joemat-Pettersson said the IPP office mandate will come to an end in this month and will be reshaped to grow its level of influence in South African and in the broader continent.

“The IPP office is a success story that we would like to duplicate in other countries,” she said. “The reshaping of the office has started in earnest and will have a larger mandate.

“We would like to invite businesses and stakeholders to comment on what it is they appreciated in the office and what we could do better,” she said. “The success story is because we pulled together a sound group of skills, which allowed us to work effectively and efficiently to meet time frames.

“Policy certainty around the programme and integration with other demands has allowed the programme to be sustainable,” she said. “We must build on the success of this innovation, but look at transferring skills and technologies.”

Source: mybroadband


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South Africa: Waste Sector Offers Economic Opportunities

Pretoria — The waste sector has the potential to contribute to South Africa’s economy, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said.

“e-Waste management presents an opportunity for job creation and economic development through recycling,” Minister Molewa said.

She was speaking on Friday at a national consultative conference on electronic and electrical waste (e-Waste) management at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Gauteng.

The conference focused on issues around the contextualisation of the e-Waste challenges in South Africa, the management of e-Waste in Municipalities, e-Waste Recycling and Policy and legislative environment.

“We see the waste sector in general and the e-waste sector in particular as a catalyst for socio-economic development,” Minister Molewa said.

She said the waste sector was the source of new businesses and jobs; as well as an important contributor for attaining goals of a cleaner, greener South Africa.

Minister Molewa said every department is managing the e-Waste in silos and there is a need for coordination of efforts to ensure maximum impact.

“Most of the components of e-Waste are recyclable. We therefore need to put systems in place and infrastructure for collection, transportation, sorting and recycling of this waste stream,” she said.

The Department of Environment Affairs said whilst this may seem to be a huge challenge, there are simultaneously huge economic benefits for citizens of South Africa, opportunities for job creation, poverty alleviation and entrepreneurial opportunities from a well-planned, strategically resourced, well regulated, managed and controlled e-Waste system.

Source: allafrica


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Electricity shortage, low copper prices hit Zambian mines

LUSAKA – An electricity shortage and weaker copper prices have put pressure on Zambia’s mining industry, threatening output, jobs and economic growth in Africa’s No. 2 producer of the metal. The power problems and copper price slide have driven the kwacha currency to record lows amid a selloff in commodity-linked currencies as key consumer China’s economy has slowed, renewing pressure on Zambia to diversify its economy. Print Send to Friend 0 0 Glencore, Vedanta Resources Plc and China’s NFC Africa and CNMC Luanshya Copper Mine have said they will shut down some operations due to the harsh business environment.

“This is serious, it could bring our economy to its knees,” independent analyst Maambo Hamaundu said. Zambia’s power generation capacity stands at 2 200 MW, with most of the electricity produced from hydropower, but supply is often erratic. State power utility Zesco Ltd, which generates the bulk of the electricity, said last week it would deepen power cuts after water levels at its largest hydropower station dropped following a drought.

President Edgar Lungu said on Friday that Zambia should reduce its overall imports of goods to tackle the country’s trade imbalance, but it should import more power to address the shortages. The Zambian government on Tuesday started importing 148 MW of power from a ship docked off the coast of Mozambique. “CEC (Copperbelt Energy Corporation) has communicated to the mines, the need for them to begin accessing imported power,” Chama Nsabika-Kalima, spokesperson for CEC, the largest supplier of power to Zambia’s copper mines, said.

Zambia is the world’s No. 8 copper producer. The closure of mines and smelters is likely to hit its output, which was projected to increase to 916,767 tonnes by 2018 from 741,916 tonnes in 2015, largely on account of increased output at the Kansanshi mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, according to government data. The slide in global copper prices, to six-year lows last month, has already prompted the government to slash its economic growth forecast for this year to 5%, from an initial 7%, and the deepening power crisis and curbs to copper production risk a further slowdown, analysts say.

Copper production accounts for 11% of Zambia’s gross domestic product. Labour unions are worried about the impending job cuts, while the government has asked mining companies to consult with the ministry of labour before shutting down operations. “We started importing electricity and they have the option to buy that power and continue with the operations,” the chief government spokesman, Chishimba Kambwili, said. The Zambia Chamber of Mines, an industry body, said it was talking to the government over the problems facing the industry. “We understand the severity of the situation. We want to work with the government to find a long-term solution to this problem,” the chamber’s chief executive, Maureen Dlamini, told Reuters.

Source: engineeringnews


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Tripartite deal to save mining jobs

Johannesburg – The government, mining companies and labour unions adopted a plan yesterday in an attempt to curb job losses in an industry where more than 11 700 people are at risk of losing their employment.

However, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) decided against committing to the pact.

The government received notice of plans to cut up to 11 798 jobs, but unions say the figure could be as high as 19 000.

The formation of the pact, which was led by Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, comes as mining houses plan to cut thousands of jobs with commodity prices such as platinum, coal and iron ore having hit long-term lows.

“We recognise that we may not be able to save all the jobs,” Ramatlhodi said.

“That’s why other measures kick in, such as what has been referred to as a government contribution towards retraining and reskilling.”

Crucial sector

The government has been under pressure to intervene in the jobs crisis in the mining sector, which contributes 7 percent of the gross domestic product.

On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma said the “economy is sick” and appealed to business and organised labour to prioritise saving jobs over profits and strikes as the economy faced challenges when he launched unit 6 at Eskom’s new Medupi power station in Limpopo.

DA finance spokesman David Maynier said yesterday that it was “bizarre” given the fact that the government, rather than the private sector, was probably the biggest “binding constraint” on economic growth and job creation in South Africa.

“President Zuma should be supporting the private sector, rather than blaming the private sector for job losses. In order to do so, Zuma should be tackling the fundamental roadblocks to economic growth to boost economic growth and create jobs in South Africa, including policy uncertainty, the energy crisis, inflexible labour laws, failing state-owned enterprises; and over-burdensome red tape regulation,” the DA said.

Ramatlhodi told journalists ahead of the signing of the pact in Pretoria yesterday, that there were potentially 11 798 job cuts in the mining industry, and the agreement was aimed at minimising these retrenchments.

Yet, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) deputy president Joseph Montisetse, who was also at the meeting, said the industry envisaged retrenching potentially about 19 000 employees.

Lonmin, the world’s third-biggest platinum producer, previously announced it planned to cut 100 000 ounces of production a year which would put 6 000 jobs at risk, while Anglo American said it would divest in 15 assets and about 50 000 jobs in the next three years.

Chamber of Mines deputy president Andile Sangqu said the agreement would go a long way in rebuilding confidence in the struggling industry.

The declaration sounded good on paper, but Ramatlhodi said the signing of the agreement did not mean there would be no moratorium on job cuts.

“We have not used the word moratorium in the agreement. We are saying if there are retrenchments there has to be inclusivity in the process and there must be active participation of all stakeholders. We recognise that we may not be able to save all the jobs,” Ramatlhodi said.

The agreement is still at risk as Amcu, which led a five-month platinum belt strike, has not signed the agreement.

Amcu deputy president Sanele Myeza, who spoke at the meeting yesterday, said the union was behind the process of saving jobs and would first get a mandate from members before committing.

Amcu also did not commit to former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe’s framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry signed by the industry to rebuild confidence after the Marikana massacre of August 2012.

“We are fully behind the process. Our membership is so large. We have not yet reached out to them,” Myeza said.

The deal comes after a tripartite technical task team identified a 10-point intervention plan and recommendations to save jobs.

Part of the agreement includes the setting up of a development fund to create alternative jobs for thousands of retrenched miners, and facilitating the sale of distressed mines to save jobs.

Source: iol


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South Africa tops leading tourism ranking

Pretoria – South Africa has been ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa on the biennial World Economic Forum Travel’s global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2015 released in Geneva, Switzerland.

Snatching the zenith from Seychelles in the Sub-Saharan Africa category, South Africa was ranked at number 48 globally, while the archipelago of islands was second in the region and followed at a somewhat distant 54 on the world stage.

Seychelles topped the regional rankings in the 2013 report and was at 38 globally, when South Africa held positions 3 and 64.

Mauritius was placed third in the region this year, followed by Namibia, Kenya, Cape Verde, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia respectively as the Sub-Saharan top ten of 2015.

On the global front, Spain was ranked at the apex, followed by France and then Germany.

Other traditional travel and tourism destinations – the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada – made up the rest of the global top ten.

Compared with other Brics countries, South Africa (at 48 globally) was rated better only than New Delhi. Brazil was ranked 28, Russia 45, India 52 and China was at an enviable 17 on the global front.

“The diversity in the top 30 shows that a country does not have to be wealthy to have a flourishing tourism sector,” said Roberto Crotti, an Economist at the World Economic Forum. “But many countries should still do more to tackle travel and tourism challenges, including visa policies, better promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness. This, in turn, would drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

The report contains detailed country profiles, benchmarking for the 141 economies featured in the study. It includes a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive selection of tables that cover each indicator used in the index’s computation.

The report’s executive summary states that many countries in the Sub-Saharan region “are working on their openness and visa policies, though the longstanding challenges of infrastructure and health and hygiene standards need to be tackled to unleash the potential of the T&T (travel and tourism) sector as a catalyst for development”.

Published under the theme “Growing through Shocks”, the full edition of the 2015 report features three additional chapters authored by leading experts and practitioners in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Among other key findings, the 2015 edition shows that the tourism and travel industry continues to grow more quickly than the global economy as a whole. As proof of its resilience, the analysis shows that the sector’s growth- whether in terms of global air passenger traffic, occupancy rates or international arrivals – tends to return to trend quickly after a shock.

The report ranks the 141 countries across 14 separate dimensions, revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector. Spain’s leadership position is attributed to a world class ranking in cultural resources (number 1 globally); its ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th), a measure of how well the country has adapted to consumption habits brought on by the digital revolution; as well as excellent infrastructure (4th).

The World Economic Forum produced the report in collaboration with Strategy & Bloom consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Source: iol


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