Category Archives: Politics

Fight against graft taken to the streets

Government officials will be crossing the length and breadth of the country on Friday to encourage South Africans to take a stand against corruption.

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) officials will be holding a series of activations as shopping malls, taxi ranks and street corners to hand out informational pamphlets explaining what corruption is and how to report it.

They will also encourage people to take the anti-corruption pledge.

By signing the pledge, which can be found at www.gov.za, citizens will pledge to be responsible and honest; to neither pay nor take a bribe; to obey the law and encourage others to do the same; and always act in the best interest of our country, among others.

In South Africa, the fight against corruption is one of the major priorities of government. Corruption in both the private and public sector has a detrimental effect on government’s effort to deliver effective services to the people.

The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster has prioritised the fight against this scourge in line with government’s zero tolerance stance towards corruption in the public or private sector.

Despite this there is a perception from the public that corruption is out of control.

The public also largely sees corruption as an issue in the public sector, and this is constantly reinforced by the media, which tends to highlight public sector corruption. However, corruption is very much a societal issue that must be confronted head on by every facet of society.

The list of activation sites is as follows:

– Mdantsane Taxi Rank in the Eastern Cape;

– Tlakgameng Village, Ellaton Correctional Services, Lehurutshe Shopping Complex, Potch Taxi Rank in the North West;

– Taxi ranks in Colesberg and Kakamas in the Northern Cape;

– High Street, Breeda Valley in the Western Cape; and

– OR Tambo in Gauteng.

Citizens and organisations are invited to play their part in preventing and fighting corruption.

Over and above the National Anti-Corruption Hotline 0800 701 701, there are a number of organisations which give citizens a platform to blow the whistle on corrupt activities.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA TO ATTEND G-20 TRADE MINISTERS MEETING IN ARGENTINA

PRETORIA– Changes brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the inclusive global value chains will be at the centre of discussions when trade ministers of the Group of 20 (G-20) leading developed and emerging economies meet this week in Argentina.

South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is set to attend the meeting which begins Friday at the resort city of Mar del Plata, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said in a statement here Tuesday. The meeting will focus on key factors for G20 policy-making to support participation and upgrading in inclusive Global Value Chains (GVCs) in the agricultural sector at regional and global levels.

The meeting will also provide a platform for an exchange of experiences on how G20 countries can address the challenges associated with disruptive changes presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and leverage the opportunities in order to advance inclusive growth.

Davies said Tuesday that GVCs had led to a reconfiguration of trade and investment flows. Location in the value chain is a critical determinant to how benefits are shared.” he stressed.

“African countries participate in GVCs mainly as suppliers of primary products. What is required is to preserve policy space to move-up the value chain into production of high-value products in order to promote meaningful participation in GVCs.”

He added that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was leading to unprecedented disruptions in trade and production. The G20 offers an opportunity for the exchange of views on global developments, regulatory framework and policy responses that facilitate leveraging the NIR and managing the challenges to promote inclusive growth, said Davies.

For South Africa, the G20 engagements provide a platform to discuss, assess, and advance economic and policy issues, and for knowledge transfer on policy practices to foster the country’s development objectives.

It also provides a platform for the exchange of views on the current developments in global trade.

The G20 Trade Ministers Meeting is taking place at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. Of concern is the rise of trade measures that are not compatible with the World Trade Organization. The G20 Trade Ministers meeting will provide an opportunity for a dialogue on current developments in international trade and its implications for the global economy, Davies said.

Davies further emphasized that South Africa’s participation at the ministerial meeting is to contribute to and shape global trade and investment policy debates by providing views from a developing country standpoint.

South Africa’s core objective in engaging in the G20 is to advance a development oriented perspective on all the issues under discussion that preserves policy space to advance South Africa and Africa’s development integration, promote inclusive growth and structural transformation.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

African Countries Need to Develop a Policy Response to the Digital Economy

Dr Nimrod Zalk, Industrial Development Advisor in the office of the Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, delivered the keynote address at a Workshop on Digital Transformation in Africa: Leveraging the Promise and Addressing New Challenges convened by Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa and the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Monday 10 September 2018.

Dr Zalk highlighted that a global process of rapid technological change, involving unprecedented growth in digital information will have far reaching consequences for the South Africa and other African countries. The rise of digital platforms and e-commerce will reshape the retail sector and in turn have deep implications for developing countries’ industrialization processes, which have been at the heart of all successful cases of development. This requires African countries to develop policy responses that address the rise of digitization in ways that ensure the policy space to harness potential benefits and ameliorate negative consequences.

Zalk emphasised that there are a number of domains that African countries need to take into consideration in forging a policy response to the rise of digitalisation.

First countries need to secure the policy space in multi-lateral, regional and bi-lateral fora and processes to develop responses to digitization that are tailored to domestic conditions and policy considerations.

Second, as data becomes the primary resource of an increasingly digitalized economy countries need to secure a degree of national sovereignty with respect to issues of data ownership, privacy, cybersecurity, structural transformation and economic inclusion objectives.

Third, national taxation systems need to adapt to the rise of e-commerce and digital platforms. This requires ensuring an appropriate taxation regime in relation to e-commerce and other digital and their suppliers and to address issues of transfer pricing and profit shifting to low taxation jurisdications.

Fourth, policy must address issues of market dominance, competition and market access. The EU has for instance begun to put in place competition policy responses to the impact of network effects that attract users to the largest and fastest growing platforms which result in winner-takes-most outcomes.

Fifth, developing countries need to develop digital industrial capabilities including ensuring high speed and cheap broadband, building linkages between digital platforms and domestically produced goods and services, the provision of industrial financing instruments to do so and the adaptation of technology and skills curricula and institutions to new digital realities.

He stated that the manner in which the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitization are conveyed, are often in hyperbolic terms which tend to assume either unbridled opportunities to leapfrog into a brave new world or a disastrous collapse in employment. Rather than assuming either of these extreme outcomes, African countries need to actively engage in understanding and developing appropriate policy responses to the implications of expedited technological change.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry

Compensation Fund brings services closer

The Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund (CF) has initiated a Mall Activation programme to bring the services of the fund closer to its clients in Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Mall Activation programme, which started in the past year, is planned to continue in the 2018/19 financial year.

In the 2017/18 financial year, the Mall Activation programme was rolled out at four malls in Pretoria, Gauteng Province.

In the year underway, the Compensation Fund plans to host a series of interactions with clients as follows:

North West

Zeerust Town Shopping Area – 08 September 2018

Delareyville Town Shopping Area � 15 September 2018

Mpumalanga

Highveld Mall in Witbank – 13 September 2018

Secunda Mall in Secunda � 20 October 2018

Hazyview Junction Mall in Hazyview � 27 October 2018

Limpopo

Steilloop Shopping Centre � 10 November 2018

Jane Furse Shopping Centre � 17 November 2018

Leadwood Corner Shopping Centre � 24 November 2018

KwaZulu-Natal

Ulundi King Senzangakhona Mall � 01 December 2018

Verulam-Phoenix Plaza � 08 December 2018

Newcastle Mall � 15 December 2018

The Compensation Fund is appealing to its clients to bring along their ID documents and claim number(s) to be assisted.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity of the Department of Labour whose mandate is to provide social security to injured and deceased employees caused during the occupation.

Meanwhile, former mineworkers from across Lejweleputswa District have come out in their numbers to claim for their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

This is made possible by a month-long campaign for payment of benefits for former mineworkers spearheaded by the Department of Labour and the UIF.

The campaign saw multitudes of ex-mineworkers- who left their employment prior April 2002- from towns such as Virginia, Odendaalsrus, Welkom and Theunissen coming forward to claim for their unpaid benefits.

The provincial Department of Labour’s Nomfundo Douw-Jack said owing to the success of this campaign and the positive response it attracted, the department was propelled to extend the Welkom leg of this campaign for one more week.

We have always maintained that we are the government of the people, for the people, thus we felt it would not be right to deny our clients an opportunity to claim because we have reached our cut-off date.

On the same token, we want to appeal to all eligible ex-miners in Welkom to come and apply for their benefits as this is the last extension in this region, said Douw-Jack.

Douw-Jack said in the previous financial year, 2017/18, no less than R12 million was paid out to a total of 3 346 applications in other regions of the Free State province.

To take advantage of the campaign, the individual claimant must bring the following documents:

Stamped Reference book (old identity document)

Employer cards / Mine ID Card (Makhuluskop)

Pay slips

Old blue cards

Record of service

Teba bank record or

IRP5

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSES URGED TO EXPLORE MORE SECTORS OF PERUVIAN ECONOMY

LIMA– Myriad opportunities exist in the Peruvian economy, which go beyond mining and agriculture which South African businesses can tap into.

Speaking at a business-to-business session here Wednesday, the General Manager of the South African-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, Itala Piaggio, urged South African business to look for opportunities that go beyond mining and agriculture.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is currently leading a group of South African companies on an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to the South American country’s capital, Lima.

At the moment, there are few South African companies doing business in Peru but we are optimistic that the companies that are here will learn more about the myriad investment opportunities that exist in the Peruvian economy, particularly in the mining and agricultural sectors. In terms of trade, technological products …. Peru offers the biggest opportunity for South African companies as Peru imports big volumes of the products and the demand is high, said Piaggio Wednesday.

South African companies currently doing business in Peru include Anglo American, Gold Fields and New Concept Mining, which are members of the South Africa-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber, whose main objective is to promote and strengthen bilateral trade relations between South Africa and Peru, was established in 2015 with assistance from the South African embassy in Peru.

We are bringing together South African and Peruvian businesses closer to each other in order to exchange ideas on how we can stimulate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, said Piaggio.

The session saw a high attendance of Peruvian business people.

I can say without fear that the outcome of this session is going to be a positive impact on trade and investment between the two countries. The Peruvians have shown today that they are eager to gather as much information as possible from the South Africans themselves, with the aim of doing business with them. This enormous appetite will translate into concrete deals, Piaggio said.

Piaggio expressed confidence that the number of South African companies who are doing business in Peru would increase after the trade and investment mission, as companies set up partnerships and joint ventures to operate in the Peruvian economy.

Trade between the countries grew from more than 800 million Rand (about 52 million US dollars) in 2016 to about 1.5 billion Rand last year.

Last week, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the mission was part of the dti’s efforts to strengthen bilateral trade relations and increase trade and investment between South Africa and Peru.

This week’s trade mission is the fourth mission to Peru the dti has organized since the technical scoping mission that the dti undertook to Peru in 2013.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK