×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 59

Displaying items by tag: South African Township

SBV is offering a R1 million reward for information on a cash-in-transit heist that left two guards dead in Tsolo, Eastern Cape, on Friday.

It said in a statement that it took exception to loss of life and was offering the reward for information that would lead to the successful arrest and conviction of those involved.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo previously told News24 that the guards were loading money at an ATM machine near a supermarket when a group of armed men pounced on them.

Naidoo said the suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a hijacked van.

 

SBV said two of its guards were killed. The driver of the van was unharmed.

Counselling was being offered to those affected.

The company was also offering R100 000 rewards for information on heists that took place in Pietermaritzburg and Hammanskraal on Monday.

Security company Fidelity said on Saturday that despite figures indicating a reduction in cash-in-transit incidents during the month of June, it could be a different story for July.

"This week alone, there have been four cross pavement incidents and three vehicle attacks – one of these occurred in the Eastern Cape and two in Bloemfontein which is worrying as the crime could simply be dispersing into other areas," said Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Security Group, in a statement.

Police officials on Friday welcomed the reduction of cash-in-transit robberies in the June figures, saying the implementation of the South African Police Service's nationwide stabilisation programme was paying off.

"These robberies have been reduced significantly by 61% in the month of June 2018, compared to the month of May 2018," Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said in a joint statement.

More than 40 suspects had been arrested since June 4, 2018.

"Four of these suspects rank among the top 20 of identified suspects wanted for similar crimes," the statement read.

Cele and Sitole noted that despite the reduction in incidents, there had been several robberies and attempted robberies on cash-in-transit vehicles in the past week.

 

Source: News24

Published in Bank & Finance

Absa is relaunching its brand next week. Last week it applied for new trademarks.
This is it's new (if still officially unconfirmed) logo – though we still don't know what it is doing with all the colours suddenly popping up.
Absa is due to relaunch its brand next week, but trademark filings show what its new logo will look like.

Absa applied for two new trademarks on 27 June, which now form part of public records, first spotted and reported by BusinessTech.

Absa has been using the word "digital" a great deal during 2018, and the new registrations have a distinctly digital feeling to them.

Absa has been dropping pointed hints towards its new identity since March.

It has also been using a range of colours in internal presentations since March – which seemed to have no meaning until similar colours started appearing on an in Absa headquarters in Johannesburg this week.

How the colours relate to the new identity is not clear, and as before Absa has resolutely refused to comment or answer questions.

However, Business Insider South Africa understands that staff in South Africa have been briefed about the new banner under which they will be working, and have kept the plans quiet to date.

Absa CEO Maria Ramos said in March that the new approach "will have something new and something old" "with an identity fit for the modern, new and forward-looking businesses we are creating."

"We are bringing Africa into Absa," she said.

 

Credit: Business Insider

Published in Bank & Finance

Domestic sales figures in June 1028 have exceeded industry expectations but export sales continue to disappoint, reports Naamsa.

Vehicles sales by the numbers

New vehicle sales at 46 678 units show an improvement of 1346 vehicles (3.0%) from the 45332 vehicles sold in June 2017.

Overall, export vehicle sales at 26 790 vehicles reflect a decline of 4805 units (-15.2%) compared to the 31 595 vehicles exported in June last year.

Industry break down

Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 46 678 vehicles, an estimated 38 498 units or 82.5% represent dealer sales, an estimated 11.0% represent sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.7% to industry corporate fleets and 2.8% to government.

Car sales

The new car market in June 2018 at 29886 units registered a marginal improvement of 1261 cars or a gain of 4.4% compared to the 28 625 new cars sold in June 2017. Naamsa said: "On the back of fleeting replenishment the car rental industry contribution had recovered substantially by 15.1% during the month."

Bakkie market

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses, at 14261 units, declined during June, 2018 by 58 units or 0.4% compared to the 14 319 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.

Naamsa comments on June sales

Naamsa said: "The improvement in domestic sales, particularly new car sales, was encouraging given recent weak economic growth and investment numbers. It appeared that the new car market had been supported by improved business and consumer confidence.

"However, the decline in the leading indicator of the Reserve Bank over the past two months – suggested a challenging economic environment going forward. Normally new vehicle sales during the second half of a calendar year tended to show improvement on first half sales and this reinforced NAAMSA’s expectations of a modest annual improvement in 2018 domestic sales volumes compared to 2017.

The SA car market future

The organisation said: "Naamsa continued to project growth in export sales over the balance of the year. However, the industry’s export performance was likely to be affected by current protectionist policies in the United States which had increased the risk of a global trade war and this could impact on international trade flows, including vehicle exports."

Published in Economy
Consumer watchdog Summit has withdrawn all assisted and initiated court and National Credit Regulator (NCR) cases it brought against Capitec.
 
The principle contention in these cases was against Capitec's Multi Loan product, which the bank discontinued in February 2016.
 
Summit Financial Partners' CEO, Clark Gardner, told Fin24 on Friday that it was a tough decision to settle with Capitec.
 
"Summit has always been about the consumer. The last six months or more, Summit and Capitec have been talking about how to improve the industry," said Gardner.
 
"Our view has been, after much deliberation, that it is in the best interest of consumers for Summit and Capitec to work together. None of the cases of complaints we had lodged had been decided on by the courts yet."
 
He said Summit and Capitec would now work on improving the unsecured lending industry in South Africa, in order to see how debt relief can be provided for consumers.
 
"We are really taking it seriously, and want a healthy unsecured lending industry in the country," he said.
 
Summit's primary concern with Capitec's Multi Loan product was the manner of the agreement, according to Gardner.
 
"To Capitec's credit, it stopped the product soon after our case had started, and the regulator also gave them a clear bill of health. So we concluded a forward-looking agreement where we will clean up the industry together from within.
 
"I am happy that we can be a positive force for change and consumers will come out far better."
 
"Both sides believed they had strong arguments. So, instead of continuing [to pay] high legal costs on something that is going nowhere in the courts, we decided to use our combined efforts on positive initiatives that will benefit the consumer," said Du Plessis.
 
"We will spend our money and resources on a programme to improve consumer financial literacy and consumer debt relief solutions. There is generally a lack of financial education in the market. Both Capitec and Summit believe we can help to address this."
 
He said Capitec does not believe there was anything "wrong" with the Multi Loan product, although it has since been discontinued.
 
"We now offer a credit card and a facility product to fulfil the needs of our clients," he explained.
 
The initiative with Summit will include programmes to improve consumer financial literacy, providing effective consumer debt relief solutions and building consumer financial capabilities.
 
Source: News24
Published in Bank & Finance
Cape Town - The South African Human Rights Commission has said that economic challenges that prompted the VAT and fuel levy hikes announced in the budget could have been averted if the government had earlier demonstrated better management of the economy and clamped down on corruption. 
 
“Public and private sector corruption, according to the Auditor General, a fellow Chapter 9 Institution, costs the nation billions on an annual basis,” it said.
 
The commission, a national institution established to uphold constitutional democracy and human rights, said it believed a “significant portion” of the economic challenges facing SA could have been avoided had the state “demonstrated better management of the economy and demonstrated an intolerance toward corruption, inefficiency and maladministration”. 
 
In his maiden budget delivered on Wednesday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that VAT would increase by one percentage point from 14% to 15%. 
 
The current zero-rating on foods including maize meal, brown bread, dried beans and rice would remain, and “limit the impact on the poorest households”. 
 
The SAHRC said it was “deeply concerned” that the VAT rate would go up, saying it was a tax that impacts the poor the most.
 
According to the budget, it is expected to bring in R22.9bn in additional revenue in the 2018/19 financial year. 
 
“Further, the SAHRC is also concerned with the increase in the fuel price through the introduction of a 52 cents per litre fuel levy,” it said. “This increase in fuel price particularly impacts on the poor as it affects the price of public transport and the price of goods as the vast majority of goods sold to the public are transported on the road.”
 
The commission also acknowledged that the budget was a “complex and difficult balancing act”, saying it was “fully aware” of the difficulties in limiting expenditure while collecting revenue through taxes and stimulating economic growth. 
 
Going up  
 
Gigaba had argued that the government was doing all it could to reduce the impact of the VAT hike on poor households, noting that the state was also boosting social grants payments and increasing the bottom three tax brackets.
 
He said plans to spend R57bn over three years on fee-free tertiary education for students with a family income below R350 000 per annum was another “important step forward in breaking the cycle of poverty and confronting youth unemployment”.
 
“Labour statistics show that unemployment is lowest for tertiary graduates,” he said.“Higher and further education and training is being made accessible to the children of workers and the poor.”
 
Source:News24
Published in Economy
In 2014, the South African government announced a new direction in housing policy. The aim was to phase out smaller low cost housing projects of a few hundred units and focus exclusively on megaprojects – new settlements made of multitudes of housing units combined with a host of social amenities.
 
Given the uneven access to housing that resulted from apartheid, housing delivery has been a major focus of since 1994. Government’s 20 year review - 1994 to 2014 - reported that 3.7 million subsidised housing opportunities were created, undoubtedly a remarkable achievement.
 
Nevertheless in 2014 the then Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, became extremely concerned that house production had been falling. And, a backlog of 2.3 million families remained. The Minister favoured megaprojects (also referred to as catalytic projects) as a way of getting delivery back on track.
 
Large human settlement projects weren’t entirely new to South Africa. Several were already at an advanced stage of construction in 2014. What was new in this announcement was the idea that all housing would be delivered exclusively through the construction of megaprojects across the country. From 2014 to 2017, the Department of Human Settlements developed a list of 48 catalytic projects which was finalised last year.
 
In a recently published academic paper we argue that the policy was underdeveloped. The megaprojects approach moved swiftly from announcement, to discussion documents and frameworks, to the creation of lists of large scale projects. Most of this process occurred behind closed doors, with little consultation. And there has been little space to examine the limitations of the megaprojects approach – as well as the merits of alternatives, such as smaller urban infill projects.
 
Nevertheless the paper attempts to account for the uptake of the megaprojects idea within the human settlements sector, and understand the motivations and agendas of those who promoted it.
 
Rationales for megaprojects:
 
In a broad sense megaprojects are glamorous because they are much more visible and impressive than diffuse small-scale projects. As a result, politicians can brand their delivery more effectively. Megaprojects convey a sense of decisive action in which the state can flex its muscle in big hit interventions.
 
South Africa is focusing on new megaprojects to address its housing gap but it’s being urged to look within existing cities. Shutterstock
More specifically, champions of the megaprojects approach believed that large scale projects could deliver more houses quicker. When announcing the policy in 2014, the then minister of human settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, stated that megaprojects would help deliver 1.5 million units by 2019.
 
Some advocates of the megaprojects approach, notably the Gauteng provincial government, were particularly attracted to the idea of creating whole new “post-apartheid cities” which could meet the “live, work and play” needs internally. Starting afresh with new settlements would be a way of designing urban spaces to avoid the inequalities and inefficiencies that beset existing cities. They would also bring major projects to poor areas that had little else to drive any significant economic growth.
 
Megaprojects were also intended to solve a variety of governance problems. In particular, it was extremely difficult to manage the 11 000 human settlement projects that were at various stages across the country. Consolidating these into just a few dozen projects was a way of focusing government’s attention and reducing administrative burdens and costs.
 
The megaprojects approach also seemed to be a way of managing the division of work and some of the tensions between different spheres of government and various departments. With some local authorities having taken on more responsibility for housing projects, national and provincial government considered megaprojects to be a way of bringing housing under more centralised management.
 
Concerns:
 
Some critics are less concerned about the scale of the projects than the fact that they could be poorly located. That’s largely because better located land is more expensive. In addition, there isn’t a great deal of well-located land that is large enough to accommodate new settlements of this scale.
 
The history of attempting to construct new towns shows how difficult it is to create new urban centres with enough jobs for the people who live there. There is a fear that megaprojects will be no different and once the construction jobs run out, residents would have to bear the cost of travelling long distances to jobs outside the settlement.
 
Megaprojects on the urban periphery are also counter to the plans expressed in a wide variety of policy documents to curb urban sprawl and densify existing cities. Peripheral locations also have other challenges. If new projects are located far from sewage, water, electricity and roads then these would have to be laid out great financial and environmental costs.
 
Other concerns have focused more directly on the huge scale of new projects. Big projects take many years to get off the ground, and so delivery can sometimes be suspended for a long time.
 
Towards a balanced policy:
 
In a recent parliamentary address, the new Minister of Human Settlements Noma-Indiya Mfeketo stated that catalytic projects “worth more than half a Trillion Rand” had been initiated. Yet she also announced that the budget had suffered a “massive cut” as a result of the fiscal challenges facing the state.
 
We believe that the moment should allow for some reflection on the now four year old megaprojects direction. This reflection should consider whether all housing should be delivered in megaprojects as originally intended by this policy, or whether a range of project sizes should be encouraged to facilitate, in particular, urban infill projects within existing urban areas.
 
Planned megaprojects should be evaluated with respect to their location, total cost to the state and long term sustainability. While some are reasonably accessible, others are peripheral, with marginal economic opportunities at best. South Africa cannot afford to construct housing in spaces that have few economic prospects and limited benefits for urban residents and the country.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Monday, 25 June 2018 15:20

SABS under fire for costing SA R4bn a year

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) has been strongly criticised by business, which says the entity is losing the country at least R4 billion a year in exports in the manufacturing and engineering sectors alone.
 
This comes after years of businesses complaining about a lack of testing by the SABS, resulting in manufacturers losing contracts because they are unable to obtain the SABS mark timeously, or they have been unable to renew 2 600 permits to use the mark.
 
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is assessing representations from the SABS board on why he should not go ahead with his intention to put the entity under administration for not performing to its mandate. The SABS falls under Davies’ department.
 
Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa economist Marique Kruger said the lack of testing and certification by the SABS within the required time frames was a concern, as certification was often needed for products to be sold locally and internationally.
 
Kruger said trade deals being delayed or cancelled due to a lack of testing hit smaller businesses the hardest and caused a loss of billions in exports a year in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
 
“The impact on the domestic production value chain is also huge,” she said.
 
Director at GAP Holdings, Theuns van Aardt, said manufacturers in the solar water heating industry were “tearing their hair out” because they “cannot get a system approved by the SABS”.
 
He said the piping, pump and valve industries were similarly affected, and were “being put at massive risk”.
 
Business development manager Carolien van der Horst of the SA Capital Equipment Export Council said the SABS was also failing to audit the local content of products supplied in government contracts as stipulated in government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan.
 
Van der Horst said this resulted in companies possibly supplying imported products when servicing tenders from state entities. However, she said it seemed that no one wanted to pay for the SABS to conduct these audits.
 
SABS CEO Boni Mehlomakulu hit back at industry and the department of trade and industry this week, saying she was fulfilling her mandate according to policy that was implemented in 2005.
 
She said the issues affecting industry were inherent in the policy, which emerged from the 2004 National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) report, titled Modernising the South African Technical Infrastructure.
 
Informed by a department of trade and industry position paper in part authored by Lionel October, who was then the department’s deputy director-general, Nedlac agreed that the SABS should split into a commercial testing and certification entity, and its statutory standards setting body should be funded by government.
 
Previously, the SABS was the only testing entity, and business wanted policy changed to allow private testing laboratories to be able to compete with the SABS.
 
She said that, to protect the SABS from litigation where products had failed on the market as only select components had been tested, partial testing – up until then a norm – had been stopped in 2015, which elicited an outcry from industry.
 
There were also expectations that the SABS maintain 32 laboratories established in the 1970s – which Davies has said would take R1.6 billion to upgrade – and conduct the full array of tests for all compulsory standards, contrary to its commercial mandate.
 
Mehlomakulu added that there were certain companies that required a test once a year, and the SABS was expected to maintain the facilities and retain the expertise to conduct those tests, yet it was still required to be profitable.
 
She said she felt the department was not supporting its own policy: “For me, what’s unfair is the fact that no one wants to own the policy position, no one wants to talk about it.”
 
When questioned about the SABS’ R44 million loss in the 2016/17 financial year, she said the department pulled R55 million from its budget at short notice, so the loss was budgeted for and the SABS’ commercial arm was having to fund its statutory entity.
 
Mehlomakulu said the backlog of expired permits had been dealt with and she had developed a corporate plan to approach private funders to raise the capital to upgrade infrastructure because previous requests to Treasury had been turned down.
 
Regarding the auditing of local content to comply with recommendations in the Industrial Policy Action Plan, she said government entities saw it as another auditor-general activity and complained that the SABS was too expensive, while on the verification of local content on Transnet’s 1 064 locomotive purchase, the SABS “was blocked, totally blocked”.
 
“They would rather give the work to a private company because there aren’t all of these rules for transparency, reporting and all of that.”
 
Asked whether she believed private companies were getting paid off to produce compliant audits, she said: “I’ve seen it.”
 
Source: News24
Published in Bank & Finance
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) says the introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI) and Medical Schemes Amendment bills will "revolutionise" healthcare in South Africa.
 
On Thursday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi presented to the public the two bills which aim to put in place a set of health-financing reforms to provide universal health coverage.
 
Sanco appeared to agree with the minister's plan to ensure that the "rich will subsidise the poor, the young will subsidise the old, and the healthy must subsidise the sick".
 
Sanco spokesperson Motlalepula Rosho said: "NHI will raise resources required to address inequalities while ensuring that all citizens access quality healthcare, which is currently the preserve of the affluent."
 
She said opposition to the introduction of NHI was largely influenced by sections of the private healthcare sector and pharmaceutical companies that benefit from medical aid schemes.
 
"Doctors who are servicing disadvantaged communities, who have curtailed claim rates from medical aid schemes as opposed to their counterparts operating from private healthcare facilities, will also derive equitable benefits from the proposed changes," Rosho emphasised.
 
During his presentation, the minister explained that an NHI Fund would be established as a public entity, which will be governed by the Public Finance Management Act.
 
The fund will be a single public purchaser and financier of health services in the country, to ensure "equitable and fair distribution", and will be a mandatory pre-payment health services system.
 
Healthcare services, medicines, health goods and health-related products from certified, accredited and contracted service providers will be financed by the fund.
 
It will "pool funds to provide access to quality health services for all South Africans based on their health needs and irrespective of their socio-economic status", the minister explained.
 
The ultimate goal of NHI is to ensure that everyone has the same access and standard of healthcare, regardless of their income.
 
The NHI Bill will also require amendments to 12 other pieces of legislation in order to pave the way for an effective national fund.
 
Source: News24
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. may halve the number of top jobs at its South African retail and business bank as it reorganizes after its British parent cut its stake, according to a person familiar with the matter.
 
The Johannesburg-based lender started talks to consult executives on a plan that may result in the reduction of top management roles in the unit to 12 from 27 to flatten the company’s management structure, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Once the consultation process is completed, the jobs will be advertised and executives who aren’t selected will be considered for employment elsewhere in the company, the person said.
 
Barclays Africa is reverting to the Absa Group name and revamping its strategy after Barclays Plc cut its controlling stake to below 15 percent to trim back its international operations. Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos is embarking on a second round of top management changes after announcing in April that she is refocusing the company around four main divisions -- retail and business banking, corporate and investment banking, rest of Africa, and wealth management and insurance.
 
The South African retail and business banking division “is the first to commence a process of overhauling its structure” so that it fits with an organizational culture built around entrepreneurial drive and accountability, while “restoring market leadership in our core businesses,” Barclays Africa said in an emailed response to questions. “The aim is to create businesses that are agile” and collaborate well, it said, declining to comment further until the process is complete.
 
On the Payroll
 
The lender is seeking to double revenue from its business in the rest of the continent to 12 percent, while regaining market share among consumers in South Africa, where the retail and business banking unit accounts for more than half of the group’s earnings. Arrie Rautenbach, the CEO of the retail and business bank, will keep his job, the person said.
 
Plans to cut the number of executive jobs come a month after Deputy CEO David Hodnett, who in May last year was put in charge of the retail bank, resigned before completing a two-month sabbatical. Each person affected by the changes could remain on the bank’s payroll for up to three months before making a decision to either stay with the company or move on, the person said.
 
Craig Bond, the CEO of partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances, stepped down on Thursday after choosing to take early retirement, according to an internal memo, which was seen by Bloomberg News. Bond decided the time had come to “pass on the baton to new leadership,” it said.
 
The Costs Challenge
 
Barclays Africa’s operating expenses rose 2.9 percent faster than revenue growth in 2017 as the lender struggled to boost income amid an anemic South Africa economy and unemployment at a record high. Gross domestic product shrank 2.2 percent in the first quarter of this year from the prior three months as Jacob Zuma’s scandal-ridden tenure came to an end, with Cyril Ramaphosa replacing him as president in February. The central bank expects the economy to expand 1.7 percent this year.
 
“The economy is weak, so getting top-line growth is going to be difficult,” especially in the retail-banking business, said Adrian Cloete, an analyst at PSG Wealth in Cape Town. “It makes sense that they look at their costs.”
 
Shares in Barclays Africa declined 2.1 percent as of 10 a.m. in Johannesburg, in line with a 2.2 percent drop in Standard Bank Group Ltd., the largest lender in Africa, and a 2 percent drop in Nedbank Group Ltd. Barclays Africa in March said it will control costs while predicting improvements in loan and deposit growth.
 
Source: Bloomberg
Published in Bank & Finance
  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« May 2021 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31