Travel & Tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and ZAR425.8 billion to the economy in 2018, making it the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector released today.
For over 25 years, WTTC, which represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism, has compared the Travel & Tourism sector across 185 countries. The 2018 research shows that the South Africa Travel & Tourism sector:
Contributed ZAR425.8 billion to the country’s economy – the largest of any country in Africa. This represents 8.6% of all economic activity in South Africa
Generated 1.5 million jobs, or 9.2% of total employment
Was primarily driven by leisure travelers: 64% of the travel economy was generated by leisure visitors and 36% from business travelers
Is roughly balanced between international and domestic travel: 44% of the tourism spend came from international travelers and 56% from domestic travel
Commenting on the numbers, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO said: “Travel & Tourism contributes more to the South Africa economy than in any other African country. In total our sector contributes ZAR425.8 billion and 1.5 million jobs which makes it a formidable part of the economy.
“South Africa has long grasped the potential of Travel & Tourism to drive economic growth, create jobs and promote social development and I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Minister of Tourism, H.E. Derek Hanekom. That is why we welcome President Ramaphosa’s ambition to double the number of people directly employed in T&T in South Africa.
“Looking to the future, I believe that Travel & Tourism is South Africa’s greatest resource and the country’s strategy for expansion which priorities regional integration, environment sustainability and putting the community at the heart of decisions will make for a successful combination.”
There are indications that crude oil imports from Nigeria could be further threatened with the country’s highest oil buyer, India, signing an agreement to import 0.6 million barrels of oil from the United States
India was Nigeria’s top crude oil buyer in five of the last six years.
Nigerian and Angola crude oil cargoes were said to be clearing slowly on Thursday in lacklustre demand with programmes due to emerge next week, with about 30 Nigerian cargoes from April loading programme still available, according to a Reuters.
A recent report by Energy Information Administration, EIA, quoted by analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited, showed a gradual decline in crude oil imports by the United States to an average of 7.7 million barrels per day in 2018 from a high of 10.1 million bpd in 2005.
According to the analysts, the development was occasioned by growing shale oil production with the US achieving the status of the top oil producer in 2018.
“This development has had severe impact on US crude import from Nigeria,” the analysts added.
According to the EIA report, between 2014 and 2015, before and shortly after the decline in oil prices, there were months that US imported no crude oil from Nigeria.
The CSL analysts said high production cost of shale oil coupled with the slump in global oil prices caused capital expenditure into shale production to decline substantially, forcing the US to ramp up imports from countries like Nigeria.
“However, following the recovery in oil prices in 2018, US shale production ramped up and consequently impacted imports from Nigeria. US crude oil import from Nigeria slumped 43.3 per cent from 112.9 million barrels in 2017 to 64.1 million barrels in 2018,” they said.
According to the EIA data, US crude imports from Nigeria declined year-on-year in each quarter with the third quarter recording the steepest decline, down 77.8 per cent to 5.5 million barrels (lowest in 12 quarters).
“Going forward, with stability in oil price, we think US would be able to sustain and possibly ramp up shale oil production which could further impact crude import from Nigeria,” the analysts added.
O&O Networks Limited, Special purpose vehicle owned by the Ecobank Group says contrary to certain media reports, there is no forfeiture order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in its proceedings that is directed against Ecobank Transnational Incorporate (ETI) or Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
O&O Networks Limited is defending long-standing proceedings in the Federal High Court relating to its ownership of shares in Airtel Networks Limited that were once owned by it.
The company previously owned by Oceanic Bank, formed part of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated’s (ETI) in 2011 after the acquisition of Oceanic Bank. Legal proceedings were first initiated against O&O Networks Ltd in December 2006 by Broad Communications Ltd (“plaintiff”), in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.
A statement released by O&O Networks, pointed out that there is no forfeiture order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in these proceedings that is directed against ETI or Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
According to the statement, there have been no material legal developments in the plaintiff’s substantive claim for monetary compensation since 2017, though a trial date on the substantive merits was recently fixed for May 28, 2019.
The statement reads: “Contrary to certain press reports, there is no forfeiture order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in these proceedings that is directed against ETI or Ecobank Nigeria Limited, and neither ETI nor Ecobank Nigeria Limited has made or is required by law to make any payment to the Federal High Court of Nigeria in relation to this long-standing litigation. There have been no material legal developments in the plaintiff’s substantive claim for monetary compensation since 2017.
“In 2006, the plaintiff’s claim was grounded on an alleged right of first refusal over shares in Airtel Networks Limited that O&O Networks owned. The plaintiff claimed ownership of the Airtel shares based on its right of first refusal. In 2017, the plaintiff amended its claim to seek monetary compensation of USD equivalent of Naira 10 billion (approximately US$28 million) in place of its claim of ownership of the Airtel share.
” Since the matter was filed in 2006, it has not proceeded to trial on the substantive merits of the claim to date though a trial date on the substantive merits was recently fixed for May 28, 2019.
“In August 2018, O & O Networks sold its shares in Airtel Networks Limited for Naira 22.5 billion (approximately US$62.5 million) with the permission of the Federal High Court on 7 June 2018 and subsequently in September 2018, the plaintiff filed an interlocutory application requesting the Federal High Court of Nigeria to grant an order directing O&O Networks to place Naira 22.5 billion (approximately US$62 million) – the entire proceeds of the sale of the Airtel shares and an amount which is significantly in excess of the plaintiff’s total monetary claim – into an escrow account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court, pending the final determination of the substantive claim. The Federal High Court of Nigeria granted the plaintiff’s interlocutory application on 7 March, 2019.
“O&O Networks has filed a notice of appeal and an application for stay of execution to this ruling. O&O Network’s appeal to the interlocutory order is currently pending, and it intends to prosecute the appeal vigorously.
“O & O Networks Limited believes the substantive claim of the plaintiff is without merit and will continue to vigorously defend all proceedings – interlocutory and substantive – in relation to the plaintiff’s long-standing claim.”