Japan Invests $1.8 Million in Sustainable Plastic Alternatives Project in South Africa

The Government of Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a funding agreement for a project to support a transition from conventional plastics to sustainable alternatives in South Africa.

The Government of Japan announced the funding support of US$1.8m for the UNIDO project during the G20 Osaka summit in June when the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, held a summit meeting with the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The initiative supports the G20’s Blue Ocean Vision which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050.

There are ongoing efforts to develop a local bioplastic industry in South Africa. The South African Bioplastics Forum was established in 2016 as a result of a joint initiative of the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology (DHEST), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Plastics SA. The country has large amounts of sugar cane bagasse and other biomass feedstocks suitable for bioplastics; and an emerging bioplastics industry has the potential to create new jobs.

UNIDO will work with the CSIR to develop an action plan to strengthen the capacity of local industry to manufacture alternative materials, and build up capacities for plastic recycling.

Recently, bio-degradable plastics have gained attention as one approach to deal with the scourge of plastic pollution. However, when bringing new materials onto the market, particular attention needs to be paid to ensuring that the overall environmental footprint is not increased and that new types of waste are not created that cannot be recycled and that increase the amount of waste; or hindering efforts to increase circularity. The project will help to assess all possible scenario and choose appropriate material for South African contexts, and will suggest necessary steps needed to set up an enabling environment.

At the project launch ceremony, Japan’s Ambassador to South Africa, Norio Maruyama, said that the signing ceremony marked the concrete achievement of what was discussed at the G20 in June 2019. He emphasized the importance of the collaboration of South African companies in the project.

Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) referred to the key objectives of South Africa’s National Development Plan, and said “The dti welcomes the support by the Japanese government and the partnership between UNIDO and the CSIR, since biodegradable plastics are just being introduced locally.”

The CSIR representative, Khungeka Njobe, said, “We look forward to partnering with government and industry in addressing the very important issue of waste plastic.”

Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO Representative, said, “Such an initiative will be a model of good practice which can be disseminated to other countries in the SADC region. The experience acquired by South Africa could be extended to neighbouring countries where the triangular cooperation model with UNIDO and Japan may be replicated and adapted to the local development set-up.”

Trudi Makhaya, Economic Advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa, welcomed this initiative. She said, “We hope that from this partnership there is agreement that there will be a lot of innovation but also a lot of practical applications of the innovations to new industries and new forms of economic activity that are inclusive, that take communities along, and that ensure that this new economy does not reproduce some of the flaws of the past.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Brian Yurasits [1], [2].

A Warm Welcome to our Two New Team Members

We have recently added two new team members at our Head Office in Cape Town, South Africa. We would like to officially wish them both a warm welcome, and introduce them to you.

Lynn Mackenzie
Immigration Lead

Lynn has joined us as our Immigration Lead. As such, she will be heading up our Immigration division, and is responsible for

In January 2018, Lynn returned to Cape Town, her hometown, after spending 17 years studying and working in Los Angeles, California, USA. She received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and her Juris Doctor in Law from California institutions.

Whilst studying, Lynn worked as an executive assistant for a faith-based organisation, where she excelled in administratively managing the daily operations of the organisation. Upon graduation from law school in 2011, Lynn was motivated to pursue her interests in law and politics, and began working as a Legislative Analyst with the California Treatment Advocacy Foundation. There, she wrote policy recommendations to further legislative initiatives, required to be presented before the California Health Senate. She thoroughly enjoyed this position as it sharpened her skills and knowledge of the legal and legislative process.

In 2014, Lynn accepted a position as the Legal Services Advocate with the Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service in Los Angeles. There, she managed various programs and worked tirelessly with the Immigration team to help clients file numerous immigration applications before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the US Department of State.

In 2019, Lynn completed her Master in Laws (LL.M) in Public Law, specializing in Human Rights Law, from the University of Cape Town. She was extremely motivated to resume her work within the immigration law space, and as such, joined Relocation Africa in June 2019.

Lynn is currently Immigration Lead for Relocation Africa, and is therefore responsible for the entire immigration product line for the African Region. She is also an avid fitness enthusiast, who believes that daily exercise is good for the mind, body, and soul.

She is happy to have returned to her country of birth and is looking forward to all that lays ahead, both personally and professionally.

 

Chantelle Butcher
Client Account Specialist

Chantelle has joined us as our newest Client Account Specialist. As part of our Mobility team, Chantelle is responsible for

Chantelle has in-depth knowledge of and experience in the hospitality and culinary industries. Completing a Hospitality Management Diploma at the Cape Town Hotel School in 2008 established the foundation for the enriched, decade-long journey through the industry. It is during this time that she completed her service intervals at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel and the Mount Nelson Hotel. She obtained years of experience at 4- and 5-star properties in Cape Town.

Chantelle established her career as one of the members of the opening team for the Taj Hotel, Cape Town in 2009 – on the eve of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. With a wish to branch out overseas, she embarked on a yearlong journey on the 6-star Silver Seas cruise ship in 2012. The experience taught her the true value of hard work, patience, and international hospitality standard practices.

Arriving back in Cape Town in 2013, she returned back to her first love. She challenged herself to a career change, moving into the events industry. Working for Urbantonic as their Staffing Manager provided the opportunity to invest her years of experience by enriching and developing the skills and knowledge of South African youth looking to enter the exciting industry.

She joined the Relocation Africa Mobility team in July 2019, as a Client Account Specialist.

In her spare time, she enjoys keeping up-to-date with international current affairs, and meeting new people. Chantelle believes that enriching your life through other people’s experiences adds value to your journey.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South African Presidential Land Advisory Panel Delivers Final Report on Expropriation

The presidential expert advisory panel on land reform and agriculture has detailed the circumstances under which expropriation without compensation could be applicable in its final report which was tabled in cabinet last week.

The report was released at a media briefing on Sunday. Not all panel members agreed with all the recommendations,

The panel was appointed in September 2018 to support the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and to advise it on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support. The independent panel’s report is merely advisory and the government can pick and choose which recommendations to implement.

Parliament’s constitutional committee was tasked with amending section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation. It was agreed that the constitution would be amended. The policy of expropriation without compensation became the policy position of the governing party after its adoption at the ANC’s 2017 December national conference.

Dr Vuyo Mahlati, chair of the panel, said the panel had offered a proposal for a constitutional amendment, as it may be necessary in limited circumstances.

She said the state was already empowered to expropriate land, but it required just and equitable compensation.

She said there were different views about the necessity of amending the constitution, and that the majority of the panel had advised that compensation may be zero in circumstances that require this.

The panel’s report itself gives details as to the circumstances in which expropriation without compensation could be applied.

The report said that expropriation without compensation was understood to be one of several targeted land acquisition strategies, and that it may commence immediately under specified conditions identified for “nil” compensation, including but not limited to: abandoned land; hopelessly indebted land; land held purely for speculative purposes; land held by state entities and not utilized; land obtained through criminal activity; land already occupied and used by labor tenants and former labor tenants; informal settlement areas; inner city buildings with absentee landlords; land donations (as a form of expropriation without compensation); and farm equity schemes.

The panel’s understanding was that nationalization was not allowed under the constitution.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Tourism in South Africa: Where Are Our Visitors Coming From?

The researchers for StatsSA have been busy crunching the numbers again this month, and they’ve detailed a comprehensive picture of all the visitors to South Africa between May 2018 and May 2019. Overall, it’s good news for tourism in South Africa – foreign arrivals are up by 1.5% within the recorded 12-month period.

Despite reported struggles and increased regional competition, South Africa has remained an attractive destination for international visitors. More than 1.2 million foreign nationals set foot in SA over the past year, and plenty of our fellow countrymen and women have been on the move too: Over 896,000 of us traveled across our borders in the past year.

The South African has broken some of the major statistics down to determine who exactly is coming to visit South Africa, and who are most recurring visitors are.

Tourism in South Africa: Most popular overseas visitors
(Tourists from these ten countries constituted 75.5% of all tourists from overseas countries).

  1. United States of America: 35 699 (21.5%)
  2. United Kingdom: 21 834 (13.1%)
  3. India: 13 238 (8.0%)
  4. Germany: 11 827 (7.1%)
  5. France: 11 142 (6.7%)
  6. Australia: 8 825 (5.3%)
  7. China: 7 259 (4.4%)
  8. The Netherlands: 5 782 (3.5%)
  9. Brazil: 5 149 (3.1%)
  10. Canada: 4 771 (2.9%)

A comparison of movements in the ten leading overseas countries between May 2018 and May 2019 shows that the number of tourists decreased for four of ten leading countries, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Brazil. But the picture was pretty rosy elsewhere

The UK, for example, experienced the largest increase of visitors to South Africa (up by 6.5%), followed closely by China with an increase of 6.3%. The US also saw their visitor numbers increase by more than 5%.

Tourism in South Africa: Most popular African visitors
(Virtually all tourists from Africa – 97.9% – came from the SADC countries).

  1. Zimbabwe: 168 046 (29.3%)
  2. Lesotho: 121 426 (21.2%)
  3. Mozambique: 106 341 (18.5%)
  4. Swaziland: 75 161 (13.1%)
  5. Botswana: 51 668 (9.0%)
  6. Namibia: 14 682 (2.6%)
  7. Malawi: 12 853 (2.2%)
  8. Zambia: 11 527 (2.0%)
  9. Angola: 5 090 (0.9%)
  10. Nigeria: 3 597 (0.7%)

Who is visiting South Africa?

In total, the number of tourists increased for five of the ten leading countries (Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Angola), and decreased for the other five (Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique). Botswana showed the largest increase (15.2%), while Zambia showed the largest decrease (15.8%).

So, we know where people are coming from, but do we actually know the type of people that are most likely to come and visit South Africa? StatsSA also provided information on the demographics of travelers visiting South Africa. Their findings conclude the following:

  • 56.2% of tourists were male and 43.8% of them were female.
  • It’s the millennials and the mid-lifers who are propping up tourism in South Africa: The majority of tourists were aged between 35 and 44 years (29.4%), followed closely by the age group 25 to 34 years (27.9%).
  • Of all our foreign visitors, 97% of them came purely for a holiday: 2.4% traveled on business, with 0.5% of them coming here to study. Around one in a thousand travelers come to South Africa for medical treatment.
  • Just two people managed to make the journey from St Helena to South Africa – in an entire year!

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

UK Consultancy Brand Finance Reveals South Africa’s Strongest Brands for 2019

UK consultancy Brand Finance has released their 2019 South Africa 50 report, an annual report on the most valuable and strongest South African brands.

Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, Discovery is the world’s second strongest insurance brand, behind China’s Ping An, and the nation’s 5th strongest brand across all sectors, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 86.0 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Despite there being a variety of sectors included in the ranking, tech is a sector that is greatly underrepresented. There is a need to develop brands within this sector if South Africa wants to close the gap with leading economies.

South Africa’s largest sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett, has dropped out of this year’s ranking, following an accounting scandal in which the brand is currently being investigated for overstating its 2018 results. It was recently announced that Tongaat has withdrawn its listing on the stock exchange and 5,000 employees have been sent retrenchment letters. This is not the first time a South African brand has hit the headlines for accounting fraud. In late 2017, it was uncovered that Steinhoff had recorded fictitious and irregular transactions, which substantially inflated the brand’s profits, and resulted in the brand’s market value wiping out and the CEO’s resignation.

Capitec is the nation’s strongest brand

Capitec (up 15% to R7.8 billion) defends its position as South Africa’s strongest brand with a BSI score of 88.7 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating. Since the bank’s inception nearly two decades ago, Capitec has disrupted the country’s financial services sector and traditional banks, through removing barriers to entry for everyday customers. This approach has led to the brand boasting a vast customer base, with 44% of South Africans banking with them. This number is growing exponentially as more people turn to the brand for its reliability, transparency and reduced fees.

Brand strength explained

Brand Strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. In order to determine the strength of a brand, we look at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating. Analysing the three brand strength measures helps inform managers of a brand’s potential for future success.

South Africa’s 10 strongest brands

  1. Capitec (Banking)
  2. Castle Lager (Alcohol)
  3. First National Bank (Banking)
  4. Black Label (Alcohol)
  5. Discovery (Insurance)
  6. Vodacom (Telecoms)
  7. Sasol (Oil)
  8. Outsurance (Insurance)
  9. Telkom (Telecoms)
  10. MTN (Telecoms)

To read the full report, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3]. Image sources: Jacques Nel [1], [2].