Positive steps from government to boost SA tourism

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announcement that it will this month start the piloting process for an online e-visa system, had been lauded by travelers, traveling agencies and even opposing political parties. It is hoped  that this electronic self-service system would increase the speed of obtaining visas for low-risk travelers. More good news from the DHA is that the much maligned unabridged birth certificate requirement for minors traveling to South Africa (SA), had finally been scrapped. This is seen as a major step in the right direction to boost …

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SA businesspeople upbeat about prospects of enticing Chinese importers.

A group of South African business people who have arrived in China to participate in the second China International Import Expo which starts tomorrow are upbeat about the opportunity to showcase their products and the prospects of attracting the attention of the Chinese importers. The participation of the business people in the expo that ends on 10 November 2019, is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) with the objective of assisting them penetrate or expand their reach in the Chinese market.  The South African delegation is led…

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After the mini-budget, a newly released document showed Eskom is here to stay

light bulb load shedding

The new version of Tito Mboweni’s strategic document on growth and reforms has dropped the possible sale of Eskom coal-fired stations. Labour was fiercely against this proposal. The sale of coal assets could – depending on tariff assumptions – raise around R450bn – enabling Eskom to possibly pay off its debt. The latest version is silent on Eskom’s debt problem. Mboweni, in his mini-budget (MTBPS) this week talked tough on Eskom. However, by now South Africans are used to the political version of any issue and reality. The amended version…

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Special Update: Medium Term Budget Policy Statement

SA economic woes

  Main points: Economic growth and inflation rates revised significantly lower. Tax revenue collection shortfall of R52bn in 2019/2020. Debt to GDP ratio rises above 70% over the medium term and continues to rise thereafter. Moody’s wouldl likely change the outlook from stable to negative on 1 November followed by a downgrade in 2020 if no reforms are implemented. Bond yields will likely rise and the Rand will weaken against the US dollar although it appears that the negative rating action is largely priced in already.   Isaah Mhlanga, chief…

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Well done Treasury – a clean audit for 10 successive years

Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury has received the tenth (10th) successive Unqualified Audit Opinion without Matter of Emphasis during the 2018/19 financial year. The MEC for Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism,  Pat Ngomane, tabled the annual report to the premier’s office. He said the latest audit outcome is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the department to good governance. He congratulated all officials for sticking to the rules and requested them to remain focused on their mandate to assisting other departments to improve the overall audit outcomes in the Province. “We…

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SA, China strengthen co-operation in education.

South African (SA) headmasters had taken hands with their Chinese counterparts in Shanghai. This forms part of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) empowerment initiative for school managers. This partnership would benefit from the East China Normal University’s (ECNU) International Centre for Teacher Education. ECNU’s Dr Peng Liping, said the presence SA school headmasters in China would further promote the bilateral relationship and co-operation between the two countries. It would also see increased opportunities in future. “Discussions on issues such as what is expected of a headmaster today, teacher professionalism…

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There is no energy crisis – minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe

After publishing the wrong version of the Integrated Resource Plan, Eskom was forced to admit that more than a third of its infrastructure is broken and cannot be relied on to generate electricity on demand. Still, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, denied South Africa (SA) had an energy crisis. ‘We have no energy crisis, SA has an energy problem that will turn into a disaster if not attended,’ said the minister on the sidelines of the media briefing to announce the IRP. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of…

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SARS R50 billion revenue shortfall for 2019/20

By end of August, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) had collected only 37% of the total tax budget for the 2019/2020 year. Last year it was 39%. SARS is going to battle to meet its collection targets. Tax receipts year to date shows a R97.9 billion shortfall in tax revenue. After taking into account seasonality and value-added tax refunds, it is R50 billion. It is more than the total amount finance minister, Tito Mboweni, allocated to public transport this year. South Africa’s weak economic growth is affecting how much…

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Premier visits Oman to benefit Mpumalanga farmers 

Mpumalanga’s premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, visited Oman in the Middle East to increase trading opportunities for provincial farmers. The delegation met with several stakeholders. “We had a meeting with executive management of  Lulu Supermarkets Group, one of the largest supermarket groups in the Gulf. The purpose of the meeting was to create an export destination for Mpumalanga’s agricultural produce,” said the premier. Business people from the provincial agri sector joined Mtshweni-Tsipane.  They also visited one of the Lulu supermarkets. The delegation also met with the commercial executive of the trade free…

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Hug spent on parliament villages, upkeep and transport

The three parliamentary villages, its upkeep and transport had cost South Africa almost three quarters of a billion rand over the two previous parliamentary terms.In a reply to a written Parliamentary question on Monday, Public Works and Infrastructure (PWI) minister, Patricia de Lille, said  the total cost incurred by the government for the three parliamentary villages during the terms of the Fourth and Fifth Parliaments (two sittings) – from 2009 to 2019, was R743 788 400. The parliamentary villages house Members of Parliament (MP’s) in Cape Town when they attend…

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