SA wins three entrepreneurship awards

South Africa has won three prestigious awards at the 10th Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), which was held in Istanbul, Turkey.

“The Global Entrepreneurship Congress gathers together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and other start up champions from more than 170 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world,” the Department of Small Business Development said in a statement on Thursday.

The department with its partner, 22 on Sloane, Africa’s largest start-up campus, picked up the Global Entrepreneurship Country of the Year Award.

Team South Africa also won the Brand Champions and Research Champions Awards during the ceremony which recognizes Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) countries from around the world.

Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu and her delegation attended the congress.

Minister Zulu commended Team South Africa on their commitment and dedication to advancing SMMEs in South Africa.

“It’s a great honour for us to be able to bring home these prestigious awards. Team SA has done us proud as these awards are recognition of their commitment to advancing SMMEs,” Minister Zulu said.

Last year, South Africa hosted the annual congress, where President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives and their contribution towards the economy. – SAnews.gov.za

Zodidi Mahlana/ Insight Africa

There is a potential to double trade and investment relations between South Africa and India over the next five years.

India’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj made these remarks at a press briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday as the two nations are preparing to hold a bilateral Business Summit on 29-30 April this year.

Kamboj said that the Summit was aimed at assisting the two countries to accelerate economic partnership.

“In 2016 July, Prime minister of India had paid an official state visit to South Africa, in the course of the visit, our two leaders had felt that there is a lot of potential in the economic partnership between the two countries, while $10billion is good, it’s not good enough. There’s so much we can do because both countries are part of the developing South. Both countries can grow together. There are many skills that India can bring to South Africa. At that time, a target had been set that over the next five years, through a focus on sectors that have potential, let us double the trade and investment because the size of these two countries. These two nations are leaders in their respective continents, so we are following through on that wish,” Kamboj said.

The Summit would focus on a number of sectors including women in business, the fourth industrialization, health care and automotive. Big companies from both countries are also set to participate in the Summit.

According to India’s High Commissioner, there are 180 Indian companies that have invested about $8billion into South Africa and employ over 18 000 locals.

Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies said that despite the fact that South Africa’s total investment to India increased to R10.3 billion in 2017 from R1.4 billion in 2003, investment opportunities could still be created.

Kamboj said that India could bring many business and skills development into South Africa.

“Öne India is very good in education and skills. I can tell you that we are working very closely with the South African government, to inaugurate a skills institute in South Africa in July this year. We are working with the South African Higher education and Training department to have our leaders inaugurate this institute where India brings her knowledge and skills to sectors where South Africa needs the assistance,” she said.

South Africa, India and Brazil, Russia and China are all part of Brics block.

Kamboj said that the preparations for the Brics Summit which is scheduled to take place in July this year are ongoing.

“There are many streams of the economy that we will be focusing on, prior to the Summit, there are many forums that are set to take place, there’s a health forum, there’s academic forum, so our two countries, through the forum are also identifying and working on projects through the Brics format so that they can even be more close relations,” she said.

India’s Commerce and Industry minister and minister are expected to deliver key addresses at the Business Summit.

Central Bank of Moçambique fines 15 financial institutions including Nedbank

Adamo Halde/InsightAfrica

The Central Bank of Mozambique has sanctioned 15 banking institutions operating in the country for various offenses, in particular the Law on Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, with fines that together exceed 158 million meticais (2.5 million dollars).

In the statement on sanctions released on Monday, the central bank does not elaborate on the reasons for each of the sanctions applied, but only says that they relate almost entirely to the years 2015 and 2016.

Banco Único, which was penalized by a fine of a higher value of 32 million meticais due to breaches of the Law on Prevention and Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, was also punished with two other fines of 400 thousand meticais for breaches of the Law on Credit Institutions and Financial Companies.

This bank is controlled by South African Nedbank, with 50% plus share capital, with Gevisar SGPS being the second largest shareholder (30.23%), a partnership between the Portuguese groups Visabeira and Corticeira Amorim.

The Banco de Moçambique also applied four fines of 24 million meticais each to the Moza, Comercial and Investment (BCI), Mozambican International (BIM) and Barclays banks.

Moza is controlled 84.6% by Kuhanha, the management company of the Pension Fund of the Bank of Mozambique, BCI is owned 51% by Portuguese state bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos and 30% by Banco BPI, while Millennium Bim is held in 66.6% by Banco Comercial Português.

Banco Mais and the United Bank of Africa (UBA) were penalized with fines of 12 million meticais each, while the remaining sanctioned banks were penalized with fines of lower value.

Mozambique and Seychelles jointly inspecting the Indian Ocean

Adamo Halde/ InsightAfrica

The governments of Mozambique and Seychelles are expected to sign an agreement to monitor the maritime space of the Indian Ocean soon.

The statement was made at the end of a hearing that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Pacheco, gave Friday to the Secretary of State of the Office of Foreign Affairs in the Presidency of the Republic of Seychelles, Barry Faure.

The rapprochement between these two countries sharing the waters of the Indian Ocean comes at a time when France – which has fought with Seychelles and Madagascar five islands under French administration in the Indian Ocean – has publicly expressed an interest in “sharing its experience” maritime surveillance with Mozambique, and has organized various conferences on the subject in Maputo.

France’s wish is that Mozambique also adopt the “Blue Book of the Indian Ocean”, a French strategy that has been in force since 2011 in the southern islands of this European country.

It should be recalled that Mozambique has focused on regional partnerships for the monitoring of maritime space, and has a tripartite agreement with South Africa and Tanzania.

Seychelles plans to use Mozambican gas to generate electricity

Adamo Halde/InsightAfrica
Seychelles needs to generate 75 megawatts of electricity to meet the country’s current needs, and gas has been explored in Mozambique as a solution.
The Republic of Seychelles intends to acquire Mozambican natural gas to replace the use of diesel in the production of electricity. The interest was voiced this morning in Maputo during the meeting Seychelles Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Barry Faure held with Mozambican Foreign Minister José Pacheco as part of a three-day visit, night of this Thursday.
Mozambique is already the 13th country in the world with more fossil fuel reserves. Only in 2012 were discovered more than 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas on national soil. In the first 25 years of production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to IMF calculations, the government is expected to earn $ 30 billion in revenues if all planned projects come on stream.
At the meeting which was the preparation for the establishment of a general agreement on bilateral cooperation, to be signed shortly, the two African rulers reviewed the consultation of the various agreements of common interest that they are signatories to at the level of the African Development Community Austral, the African Union, and the United Nations. “The first step identified in this meeting as fundamental to the continuation of our relations was the need to create a general cooperation agreement. We will work at the technical level so that this agreement is signed as soon as possible, “said José Pacheco.
The agreement should include traditional areas of cooperation such as security, tourism, transport and communications.
Regardless of the general agreement, Mozambique and Seychelles have some agreements such as the mutual visa exemption agreement for citizens of both countries, holders of diplomatic, service, ordinary or other travel documents, signed in 2012, on the sidelines of the 67th Ordinary Session of the General Assembly of Nations in New York.
The visit program of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Seychelles also includes hearings with the Attorney General and the Minister of the Interior.
 

SARS dismisses reports of impropriety

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has dismissed media reports of impropriety against Commissioner Tom Moyane.

“SARS notes with deep concern media reports spreading the allegation that there has been impropriety on the part of Commissioner Moyane in dealing with the disciplinary investigation into the Chief Officer for Business & Individual Taxes, Mr Jonas Makwakwa.”

In a statement on Monday, the revenue service said it was necessary to address the misrepresentation of facts around the matter. The revenue service announced Makwakwa’s return at the end of October after having charges against him cleared.

“There is a predictable and monotonous media narrative that is aimed at casting aspersions on the integrity of the organisation,” said SARS.

In September 2016, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) submitted a report to SARS containing some serious allegations against Makwakwa. At the time, the revenue service sought outside legal opinion on the matter and Makwakwa was suspended by the Commissioner, pending an independent investigation into the allegations.

To ensure transparency, independence and integrity of the process, renowned international law firm, Hogan Lovells was appointed to investigate the matter. The law firm submitted an investigation report, which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the Chief Officer.

On Monday, SARS said it was not true that Hogan Lovells did not investigate the FIC suspicious transactions.

“All transactions, as per the FIC suspicious report, were put to Mr Makwakwa to respond and he did. It was those responses which lead to Hogan Lovells concluding that an act of misconduct could not be found from the transactions and their sources.”

SARS said Moyane received the FIC report in May 2016, after which he sought advice and placed the Makwakwa on precautionary suspension on 15 September 2016.

“Mr Makwakwa was found not guilty of all charges, contrary to media reports spreading the allegation that the processes were tainted and that Mr Moyane had a hand in allegedly tainting the processes.

“SARS is concerned that widespread media reports seem to suggest that SARS erred by allowing Mr Makwakwa back into his employ, given that there is a criminal matter pending. This assertion displays a lack of understanding of the difference between a misconduct investigation by an employer and a criminal investigation,” said SARS. – SAnews.gov.za

South Africans Named In Paradise Papers Leak

Several South African companies and prominent people feature in a new, international expose detailing how the rich stash their money in offshore tax havens, Business Day reported on Monday.

In the biggest leak of its kind since the Panama Papers, a new investigation featuring journalists from across the globe has revealed 13.4million documents from more than 19 tax secrecy jurisdictions. Most of these relate to law firm Appleby.

 This leak, called the Paradise Papers, highlights cases of tax abuse and questionable tax practices, Business Day reported.

Paradise Papers Show Turkish PM’s Sons Involved In Offshore Holdings

Data released on Nov. 5 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on the offshore activity of current or former leaders of famous companies and various countries indicate that the sons of the Turkish prime minister are involved in offshore holdings.

The data, known as the Paradise Papers, include over 13.4 million documents containing information on close to 120 political figures around the world and “show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants … that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers,” said ICIJ in its report.

According to the materials published by ICIJ, Erkam Yıldırım and Bülent Yıldırım are the adult sons of the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, whose family made its fortune in the shipping industry. The brothers are the sole shareholders of two companies registered in Malta: Hawke Bay Marine Co. Ltd., which was set up in April 2004 and according to public records owns or manages shipping vessels; and Black Eagle Marine Co. Ltd., incorporated in January 2007.

Record show that Erkam Yıldırım, who was the majority shareholder of the companies, is also the director of both and in addition operates his own shipping business.

The companies were listed as active in the Malta Registry of Companies in October 2017.

The Yıldırım brothers did not respond to a request for comment from ICIJ and its media partner in Turkey, Cumhuriyet.

The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary group deputy chairman Özgür Özel lambasted Turkish PM Yıldırım on Monday over the Paradise Papers, which indicate that the sons of the Turkish prime minister are involved in offshore holdings, while CHP deputy Faik Öztrak called on Yıldırım to respond to revelations in the Paradise Papers.

Recalling that Binali Yıldırım always uses the terms “national” and “indigenous,” Özel said: “In order to conduct trade, their children establish companies in Malta. They call on people to use ‘national’ and ‘indigenous’ money, but they use American money.”

Özel claimed that Prime Minister Yıldırım will not discuss the visa crisis but will instead talk about marketing Turkey’s Wealth Fund and will seek support from the Jewish lobby during a visit to the US on Nov.7-11.

Strongly criticizing Yıldırım on Twitter, CHP deputy Öztrak has also said that “The prime minister, who recently presented a new budget bill to Parliament to collect TL 614 billion in duty from the public in 2018, should immediately issue a statement to the public regarding the revelations about his family’s offshore companies.” (SCF with turkishminute.com)

Minister Mokonyane: Economic growth and peace relies on water security

(In the picture: President Zuma welcomed by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu and Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane on arrival)
President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Heads of State Committee on the United Nations (UN) High Level Panel on Water, officially opens the United Nations (UN) World Water Day Summit and Expo in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. 22/03/2017, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

“For a peaceful relationship with our neighboring countries, water is an important factor. Peace and prosperity in Lesotho mean water certainty in South Africa.” Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokanyane said in Rosebank.

Mokonyane urged South Africans to work with the ministry and respect the water restrictions that have been put in place.

Minister Nomvula says that her ministry will take all necessary action to prevent dam levels in Western Cape to dry completely.

Minister Nomvula host media lunch and explained government’s plans for the approaching water infrastructure investment summit which will be held on 30 November 2017.

“We are a very spoiled nation when it comes to water use. We are one of the 30 driest countries on earth, however, we use per day 235 liters per person as compared to an average of 173 liters per person globally” Mokanyane added.

“Water sector also remains quite critical in terms of transformation and developments objectives of this country over time you had actually treated water as a social need but reality shows that water is a matter of peace and security also” Minister continued.

Minister explained that water as a cross-cutting issue has a very important role when it comes to what contributes to the growth of our economy which is an agricultural sector and mostly in the economic sector including energy generation. As energy relies on water security, without water, economic investment is not possible.

Minister said that irrigation sector consumes 60 percent of water and the country needs new technology to reduce wasting water.

“Just a year ago we had the severest drought in Richard’s Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, the industry was almost shutting down. Industry becomes very patriotic. We come together and put R300 million new desalination plant to enhance water security in a less than three months time.

Minister Mokonyane also called Capetonians to use water sparingly. She said despite the ongoing call for residents to use water carefully, water usage has increased 602 million liters per day. This figure is 102 million liters above the daily target.

InsightAfrica

 

High performance vehicles to assist in fight against crime

The 200 high performance vehicles and 75 motorbikes handed over to law enforcement agencies on Friday will go a long way in achieving the Gauteng government’s target of reducing crime by 50% in priority police stations.

The vehicles are fitted with the latest technology, including trackers and registration number plate recognition.

This will allow police officers to perform their job better, said Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the handing over in Soweto.

The ceremony was also attended by the special school safety committee that the Premier appointed on Thursday to deal with sexual violence in schools. The committee is made up of the MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza.

The initiative to increase police resources was developed as part of the provincial government’s Deliverology Programme.

Premier Makhura said this was not just in preparation for the festive season but to ensure that trio crimes, including gender-based violence and drug related crimes, were prioritised and reduced.

“We have identified 12 priority clusters, 40 police stations in the province that contribute 50% of crime statistics nationally. We will focus on these clusters and stations to ensure they cut crime by at least 50%,” the Premier said.

They would put a special focus on crimes against women and children.

“We don’t want rapists in our communities. I want to urge the law enforcement agencies in our province to make life difficult for criminals,” he said.

He commended the reintroduction of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) as the specialised police unit. He said increasing resource allocation to fight crimes against women and children was yielding positive results.

“The FCS is one of the major success stories because of the high rate of arrests and successful prosecution of perpetrators. Perpetrators must be caught and brought to book.”

Provincial Police Commissioner Major General Deliwe De Lange said there is no excuse for the police now with the additional resources. She said the police service is deploying adequately trained officers to handle gender-based violence.