Daily Archives: May 18, 2017

General Motors Restructures International Markets to Strengthen Global Business Performance

SINGAPORE, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

  • GM India to focus on export manufacturing
  • Isuzu Motors to purchase GM South Africa light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations
  • Chevrolet to be phased out of Indian and South African markets

General Motors (NYSE: GM) today announced key restructuring actions in its GM International operations to drive stronger financial performance and focus its capital and resources on business opportunities expected to deliver higher returns.

The company will focus its GM India manufacturing operations on producing vehicles for export only and will transition GM South Africa manufacturing to Isuzu Motors. GM’s Chevrolet brand will be phased out of both markets by the end of 2017.

“As the industry continues to change, we are transforming our business, establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We are committed to deploying capital to higher return initiatives that will enable us to lead in our core business and in the future of personal mobility.

“Globally, we are now in the right markets to drive profitability, strengthen our business performance and capitalize on growth opportunities for the long term. We will continue to optimize our operations market by market to further improve our competitiveness and cost base.”

These decisions were made following an extensive review of operations in GM International markets and reflect a series of actions taken to improve global business performance that began in late 2013.

“These actions will further allow us to focus our resources on winning in the markets where we have strong franchises and see greater opportunity,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “We have compelling plans for growth in both the top line and the bottom line as we invest for the future.”

GM Executive Vice President and President, GM International, Stefan Jacoby said the company is running its GM International markets with an enterprise approach and making decisions that are best for the global business.

“In India, our exports have tripled over the past year, and this will remain our focus going forward,” he said. “We determined that the increased investment required for an extensive and flexible product portfolio would not deliver a leadership position or long-term profitability in the domestic market.”

In South Africa, Isuzu will acquire GM’s light commercial vehicle manufacturing and GM will cease manufacturing and sales of Chevrolet in the domestic market, subject to local regulatory requirements.

“After a thorough assessment of our South African operations, we believe it is best for Isuzu to integrate our light commercial vehicle manufacturing operations into its African business,” said Jacoby. “We determined that continued or increased investment in manufacturing in South Africa would not provide GM the expected returns of other global investment opportunities.”

Under the improvement actions announced:

India: GM’s manufacturing facility at Talegaon will continue as an export hub for Mexico and Central and South American markets. GM will cease sales of Chevrolet vehicles in the domestic market by the end of 2017. Existing Chevrolet customers will continue to be supported in the market.

South Africa: Isuzu will purchase GM’s Struandale plant and GM’s remaining 30 percent shareholding in the Isuzu Truck South Africa joint venture, with sales through a national dealer network. Isuzu will also purchase GM’s Vehicle Conversion and Distribution Centre and assume control of the Parts Distribution Centre. The company will phase out the Chevrolet brand in South Africa by the end of 2017. GM continues to work with PSA Group to evaluate future opportunity for the Opel brand in South Africa. Importantly, existing Chevrolet and Opel customers will continue to be supported in the market.

East Africa: As announced on February 28, Isuzu has agreed to purchase GM’s 57.7 percent shareholding in GM East Africa, assuming management control. GM will withdraw sales of the Chevrolet brand from the market.

Singapore: GM International will streamline its regional headquarters office in Singapore, which will retain responsibility for strategic oversight of the remaining regional business and markets, including Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea and Southeast Asia. This will deliver greater organizational efficiencies while leveraging global resources and in-market expertise.

Across affected markets, GM is working with employees, their union representatives and local authorities to provide transition support.

As a result of these actions, GM expects to realize annual savings of approximately $100 million and plans to take a charge of approximately $500 million in the second quarter of 2017. The charge will be treated as special and excluded from the company’s EBIT-adjusted results. About $200 million of the special charge will be cash expenses.

Forward Looking Statements: This document may include forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations about possible future events and thus are inherently uncertain. Our actual results may differ materially from forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including: (1) our ability to deliver new products, services and experiences that attract new, and are desired by existing, customers and to effectively compete in autonomous, ride-sharing and transportation as a service; (2) sales of full-size pick-up trucks and SUVs, which may be affected by increases in the price of oil; (3) the volatility of global sales and operations; (4) aggressive competition, including the impact of new market entrants; (5) changes in, or the introduction of novel interpretations of, laws, regulations or policies particularly those relating to free trade agreements, tax rates and vehicle safety and any government actions that may affect the production, licensing, distribution, pricing, or selling of our products; (6) our joint ventures, which we cannot operate solely for our benefit and over which we may have limited control; (7) compliance with laws and regulations applicable to our industry, including those regarding fuel economy and emissions; (8) costs and risks associated with litigation and government investigations; (9) compliance with the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement; (10) our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid recalls and the cost and effect on our reputation and products; (11) the ability of suppliers to deliver parts, systems and components without disruption and on schedule; (12) our dependence on our manufacturing facilities; (13) our ability to realize production efficiencies and cost reductions; (14) our ability to successfully restructure operations in various countries; (15) our ability to manage risks related to security breaches and other disruptions to vehicles, information technology networks and systems; (16) our ability to develop captive financing capability through GM Financial; (17) significant increases in pension expense or projected pension contributions; (18) significant changes in the economic, political, and regulatory environment, market conditions, and foreign currency exchange rates; and (19) uncertainties associated with the consummation of the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to the PSA Group, including satisfaction of the closing conditions. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, and our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. GM cautions readers not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. GM undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Minister Faith Muthambi convenes National Anti-Corruption Forum meeting, 19 May

Minister Muthambi convenes meeting to revive National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF)

Public Service and Administration Minister, Faith Muthambi’s move to convene a special meeting to revive the Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) is a right step towards realising vision 2030 of a South Africa with a zero tolerance for corruption.

The NACF was established in 2001 by government, business and civil society with the main aim of preventing and combating all forms of combating corrupt activities in the country.

However, the last activity of the NACF was its fourth national anti-corruption summit in December 2011, while its last EXCO meeting was held in November 2012.

Minister Muthambi said: there is a wrong perception out there that corruption is a post-1994 phenomenon, which is untrue because corruption was widespread during the apartheid era.

As a democratic government, we’ve accountability mechanisms in place to combat corrupt activities that adversely affects government efforts to eradicate poverty.

We’ve created a number of institutions to fight against corruption, but we strongly believe that we need the NACF to be effective so that we can realise a South Africa which has a zero tolerance for corruption hence I have decided to convene a special meeting of various stakeholders in all sectors of our society to revive the NACF.

The purpose of the special meeting is to revive the NACF and to re-constitute the sectors of the forum.

One of the objectives of the NACF is to contribute towards the establishment of a national consensus through the co-ordination of sectoral strategies against corruption.

Source: Government of South Africa

Gauteng education disturbed by rape at school

Pretoria � The Gauteng Education Department says it is deeply concerned and disturbed about the rape incident that took place in March at I R Griffiths Primary School, involving minors.

It is alleged that four Grade 7 boys raped a Grade 2 learner in the boys’ toilets.

The department on Thursday said the victimised learner did not report the matter immediately, however, she complained to her parents of having pains on her private parts, and was subsequently taken to the doctor for the necessary examination. It was then confirmed that she had been penetrated.

The parents informed the school about the developments, which took place during school holidays. The school informed School Governing Body (SGB) members.

The alleged perpetrators were then taken through a disciplinary process last week Thursday, which exonerated two of the said four boys. The recommendation was that the learners must be expelled from the school, said the department.

The department said parents reported the matter to the police, and the two boys had already appeared before the magistrate court on Monday, last week, and the second appearance was on the past Tuesday.

On Friday, the school submitted the recommendations to the Head of Department (HOD) for his consideration.

All affected learners have been referred to the Teddy Bear Clinic to receive psychological support. The department strongly condemns any acts of sexual misconduct in schools and encourages learners never to listen to anybody who tells them not to tell, for fear of victimisation.

Learners must report such incidents to their parents, police or any other trusted figure of authority. We urge learners to abide by the school code of conduct at all times and refrain from acts of misconduct.

The department has a zero-tolerance stance on allegations of sexual assault and has never hesitated to act where allegations of this nature have been proven to be true. We also appeal to parents to assist the department to enforce discipline in and outside the school environment, said the department.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA MOVES TO CHECK OVERCROWDING IN PRISONS

CAPE TOWN, Plans are in place to reduce overcrowding at South Africa’s correctional services centres, says Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha.

Briefing journalists ahead of tabling his department’s Budget Vote in Parliament here Wednesday, he said the rate of overcrowding currently stood at 137 per cent, a figure which varied from centre to centre.

Plans are in place to introduce measures that would reduce overcrowding by way of relocating offenders from overcrowded to less crowded centres, while effecting necessary and urgent infrastructural improvements and necessary expansion to realise more bed space in response to an ever-rising need, he said.

The Minister said a continued increase in the offender population had presented unavoidable challenges of overcrowding at correctional services facilities over the years.

In 2016, a non-governmental organization, Sonke Gender Justice, brought up in court a case of overcrowding at Pollsmoor Correctional Centre near Tokai in the Western Cape. Masutha said the case again highlighted the problems that overcrowding creates towards ensuring safe custody premised by humane conditions.

We need to highlight that we have reduced overcrowding in Pollsmoor to at least 157 per cent, much closer to an order of the Western Cape High Court of 150 per cent, he said.

He also noted that while the number of offenders who have been given longer term sentences are on the rise, those that are being given shorter sentences are on a decline. In the past 13 years (2003 to 2016), sentences of between six and 12 months decreased by 51 per cent while those of between 12 to 24 months plummeted by 71 per cent.

What is even then worrying is that sentences between 10 and 15 years increased by 77 per cent, he said, adding that the number of offenders sentenced to 20 years and above increased by a 439 per cent, while the number sentenced to life imprisonment grew up by 413 per cent.

This, the Minister said, was unfortunately an indication that South Africa is becoming an increasingly violent society. The figures aere indicative of the fact that there is an urgent need to create additional bed space and to take extra levels of care on the existing infrastructure, which is dilapidating because of limited maintenance.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Minister Jeff Radebe: Statistics South Africa Dept Budget Vote 2017/18

Statistics South Africa Budget Vote speech by the honourable Jeff Radebe, MP, Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, at the National Assembly, Cape Town, 18 May 2017, Vote 12, 2017

Madam Speaker,

Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela

Chairperson of the Statistics Council, Ben Mphahlele

Statistician General, Dr Pali Lehohla

Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee

Honourable Members

Our Distinguished Guests in the Gallery

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour, and indeed a singular one for me to once again, address this august house on a matter of national importance. I stand before you to present the Budget Vote of Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), an institution established under Act 6 of 1999, and reporting to the Minister in the Presidency.

South Africa seeks to be a developmental state as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP). This injunction requires all institutions to be aligned, to be functional, intersecting appropriately and optimizing the use of our state resources to achieve a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. Such a state should defeat the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

It is a state that should therefore confront the fourth industrial revolution through youth skilling, tooling for-purpose and anticipating the future in a globe so ever difficult to predict.

Without a planning system, we learn from Prophet Joel in the Locust Plague and the Day of the Lord that, and I quote, What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten..The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but after them a desolate wilderness and nothing escapes them.

The imperative for planning as envisaged by Prophet Joel millennia ago, is illustrated in the South African Demographic Health Survey report that Stats SA released on Monday. Herein the report presents us what could at face value be a conundrum of positives and negatives as regards to the health of the under-five. First, it attests to the positive impact of the interventions of improved immunization coverage and maternal care.

The results of these are significantly realised in reduced under five and infant mortality rates, and increased life expectancy. In the second instance, however, it points to stunting.

To address these complex phenomena, we need a planning institution that has staff who are competent across disciplines such as planning, econometrics, sociology, political economy, modelling, regional science and statistics to mention but a few critical skills. It requires the deployment of technology platforms.

Above all, we need a system that is long-term and strategically led. The NDP shows us the end state but the planning and the plan has to acquire and deploy the aforementioned capabilities to realise the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Honourable members, Fellow South Africans

Yesterday, I presented the Budget Vote for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), which is charged with the function of planning. Today, I am presenting on the one aspect of resources required for planning, namely statistics, a matter of national interest.

Statistics are not only crucial in assessing our current status, but they form the basis of any future planning. For without indicators, without comparative data of any kind, it is nearly impossible to set yourself any growth targets or even gauge your own progress. Evidence that is scientific is what we need.

A key feature of such evidence is that it should be led and produced by a skilled and competent staff compliment. It has to have a dependable and credible system produced under conditions of independence. Stats SA is Vote 12. Stats SA is one such institution and it conducts business under conditions of independence.

It is this sense of autonomy that as a nation we should guard selfishly at all times and ensure that those charged with such a noble endeavour put as priority the needs of the nation first. Independence prevails under conditions of clear understanding of national imperatives, the failure of which, integrity gallops. Our icon, President Nelson Mandela once said:

A bright future beckons. The onus is on us, through hard work, honesty and integrity, to reach for the stars.

Stats SA continues to provide the nation with products that are critical to our sought after developmental state. The run of the mill churns 246 products on the state of our economy and 67 products on the social state of our country. Stats SA is at the forefront of technology revolution in data collection, deploying computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI) in the process.

Chairperson,

My intervention here today is about the promise. The budget is the means by which we achieve the promise. This is the subject of today initially but indeed continues through implementation in the months and seasons as they unfold. Let us take a look at the highlights of the scorecard of the promise we made last year. In this regard we pledged the following and delivered on all of them successfully:

Have the Gross Domestic Product under one roof, delivered in June 2016

Rebase the Consumer Price Index, delivered in February 2017

Deliver the Community Survey using modern devices as pre-tested through the KwaZulu-Natal Citizen Satisfaction Survey, delivered in June 2016

Deliver a new home for Stats SA, the ISIbalo House, delivered and occupied in September 2016

Deliver on the South African Demographic and Health Survey, delivered in May 2017

Host the very first United Nations World Data Forum, delivered in January 2017. The Forum concluded the Cape Town Global Action Plan (CTGAP): towards agenda 2030 and Stats SA the maiden host will roll out an ambitious plan focusing on capacity building as its contribution to one of the six elements of the CTGAP.

Deliver on planning tools and this was delivered continuously since November 2016

Initiate legislative reform, and will be delivered in this financial year,

We shall continue our continental and global commitments through the African Symposium for Statistical Development, the ASSD, which the statistician-general continues to chair since 2006 when it was inaugurated.

Stats SA continues to stake its claim in matters of international statistical development. The United Nations 2020 Round Population and Housing Census (RPHC) has already started in 2016 and will conclude in 2025. We have collaborated with our neighbour, Lesotho, in their Census 2016. In Swaziland, we have provided 3500 handheld devices in running their census, which has just started.

From Kenya and Tanzania, we learnt a lot as we were part of a team that evaluated their statistics system through a peer review programme. We are currently hosting the Somalis in statistical training for the next six months as they start the rebuilding programme of their country. In Namibia, we have worked together to put their quarterly labour force at par. A few years ago, Africa started a sterling programme on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS).

At the end of financial year 2015/2016, 97 % of the R 2.5 billion budget of Stats SA was spent and the 3% rollover has been requested in order to handle modernized and continuous dissemination activities and payment of unitary fees for the new building.

Stats SA turned a new leaf in June 2016 when a seven decades practice of the production of GDP estimates in two separate institutions was ended. The Statistician-General and the Governor of the Reserve Bank performed a rare function on 8 June 2016, where the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) handed the responsibility of the compilation of the expenditure on Gross Domestic Product to Stats SA.

Stats SA is an organization at work. We are a government at work!

Stats SA continues to collaborate with universities to build a strong human resource capacity for emerging demands of statistical production. One of these programmes is a partnership for Masters Degrees, offered through the Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation Statistical Exploration (CRUISE) at the University of Stellenbosch. Since 2011, more than 60 staff members have completed Masters Degrees through this initiative.

Later this year, I will be launching the South Africa Regional Science Association to reinforce the discipline and practice of urban and regional science at CRUISE.

Madam Speaker,

We exist in difficult times that require austerity practice with the public purse. Government as a whole is making efforts to fit their programmes within limited budgets. Stats SA is one of such departments that have taken this as a matter of course.

The search for a secure financial position for Stats SA is not a nice to have, rather it is fundamental for purposes of getting the basic statistics right. Looking ahead therefore, our energies will be consumed by building and implementing these planning tools and modelling capability, which should enable the state to deliver in an integrated fashion.

Furthermore, we shall look at trade statistics. Trade statistics play a critical role in understanding a country’s inclination to strengthen its economy by increasing exports. For our country, preliminary review of our administrative data suggests that they are in need of repair.

The housing of GDP under one roof has with greater clarity pointed to these defects and paved the way as well for shedding light on prospective illicit financial flows. It sets us on the right path and taking the first step in implementing the recommendation of the Illicit Financial Flows Commission. Our major programme therefore is unravelling and addressing trade statistics.

We shall focus on modernising statistical collection. We shall also remove the pain from the customer by easing the use of statistical evidence. This will be by the implementation of technology and getting geography to work for South Africa. Through the production of spatial statistics the DPME’s new responsibility for SPLUMA (The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) will be greatly assisted.

We shall reform our system by delivering a revamped and enabling statistical law. We shall advance and deepen our own knowledge on the demographic dividend and contribute to global knowledge systems. To this end we shall give momentum to this process by hosting the 28th International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) to be held in Cape Town in October this year.

All these priority programmes and projects will happen as we did in the past, in parallel with the run of the mill of 246 economic statistics and the 67 population and social statistics. To deliver on all these imperatives, the budget allocation is as follows:

Of the current 2016/2017 financial year budget of R2.1 billion, R229 million is for economic statistics, R128 million to population and social statistics, methodology and research is allocated R67 million, statistical support and informatics has R258 million, statistical collection and outreach is allocated R585 million, survey operations is R191 million and finally administration which pays for office accommodation, transport, training and other central services and includes and the national statistics system coordination is allocated R 688 million.

We need to stand guard at Stats SA and protect it from decline. Jim Collins, in his book How the Mighty Fall describes how success might cover up the fact that an institution is on a path to decline. He identifies four principles that can save organisations from decline, and these are: disciplined people who have the professional will to put the organization first, disciplined thoughts of those who have the commitment to stay the course and confront reality regardless of difficulties, disciplined action of those who have the freedom to exercise power comes with great responsibilities as well as building greatness to last by the ability to stay the course while they are adapting to the changing world.

This house has given me the opportunity to give evidence on the previous promise, it has permitted me to project on the new promise. The evidence of delivery by Stats SA is indisputable. The Auditor General has delivered evidence of no less than three successive clean audits in this regard.

However, the risks on financing are threatening and in this regard we have a challenge to confront and resolve in order to realize the injunction by Madiba on planning. Indeed significant progress is possible and is within our reach as we gain better handle on planning through the planning tools. We can therefore have the capacity to allow the intervention of fate on our own terms.

Instead of the Locust Plague and the Day of the Lord in Prophet Joel, ours should be different and attest to our dreams as Prophet Joel said young men shall see visions and old men shall dream dreams. We should reimagine, dream and visualize a different but better habitat as the fourth industrial revolution closes on the old world, and opens the door on the new world.

Our youth should be empowered for this new world. Therefore let our sons and daughters dream dreams. Today, more than ever before, the continued search for better technology to enhance statistical development remains the challenge for any national statistics agency. Let us preserve and encourage it to deliver more and better.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the Chairperson of the Statistics Council, Ben Mphahlele, as well as the entire South African Statistics Council for the sterling work they continue doing in safeguarding the interests of official statistics. Furthermore, I wish to extend a word of gratitude to the Statistician-General, Dr Pali Lehohla, and the Stats SA team for ensuring that our national statistics agency churns out its products timeously and for so doing without fail.

Thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa