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Highlights From South Africa’s Second 2019 State of the Nation Address

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the country’s second State of the Nation Address yesterday evening, keying South Africans into his plans going forward, now that the country’s new Parliament is settling in, after the recent general election.

Below are 10 highlights from his speech.

  1. A special appropriation bill is to be tabled to allocate a significant portion of the R230 billion that Eskom needs to pay its debtors and keep the lights on.
  2. The president reaffirmed the constitutional mandate of the Reserve Bank “to protect the value of our currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth”.
  3. The Minister of Communications has been instructed to issue policy direction to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to begin licensing spectrum that will significantly reduce data costs.
  4. To return public money that has been looted, civil claims arising from investigations conducted by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), estimated to be around R14.7 billion, will be fast-tracked.
  5. The Presidency plans to drive the implementation a comprehensive plan to create two million jobs for young people over the next 10 years.
  6. Government intends to double international tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030, by introducing a “world-class visa regime”, and focusing on tourists from China, India and the rest of Africa.
  7. Government plans to accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements, as well as for farming.
  8. Government plans to establish a gender-based violence and femicide council to guide the former’s efforts to eradicate gender-based violence in South Africa.
  9. Ramaphosa announced plans to train foundation and intermediate phase teachers to teach reading in English and African languages, and to deploy experienced coaches to provide on-site support to teachers.
  10. The President said he envisions the first new city built in the democratic era, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals, and factories, to ease the pressure on the congested cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. This includes the construction of a cross-country high-speed train.

To watch the full Address, click here.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the country’s second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

 

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

Foreign Investment Secured to Build Zero-2-One Tower, the New Tallest Building in Cape Town

Despite delays due to city approvals and funding hurdles, construction on the Zero-2-One Tower – which will become the tallest building in Cape Town – is expected to launch soon.

The Zero-2-One Tower first made headlines in 2016, when plans to construct the R1.3 billion city centre project on the corner of Adderley and Strand Streets in Cape Town were unveiled, led by developers FWJK.

During the course of the planning for the tower, the project was hit by several delays, mostly related to the approval processes of the City of Cape Town, which included stipulations that new developments include ‘affordable housing’ – an incredibly difficult task in a city with some of the highest house and apartment prices in the country.

More recently, on the tail of the worst quarterly economic data in a decade, it was speculated that the project had been cancelled due to a lack of funding.

Speaking to BusinessTech, FWJK CEO, David Williams-Jones said that this was not the case.

Williams-Jones acknowledged that procuring funds locally proved difficult because of the economic downturn – however, he said the development was able to secure funding through foreign direct investment.

“The procurement of project funding has faced headwinds and has had to be secured through foreign direct investment,” he said.

“Raising property development finance of R1 billion to undertake the project through conventional SA banking sources has proved impossible due to the current state of the economy and cautious bank appetite at the present time to lend on projects of this scale.”

New timeline

In terms of new timelines, Williams-Jones said that the project is targeting a construction launch within the next few months, pending approvals from the Reserve Bank.

“Once the SA Reserve Bank approval of the foreign funding has been processed, we are targeting to commence construction works on site within the next three to four months, bringing with it the added benefit of 3,000 new on and off site jobs being created,” he said.

Zero 2 One Tower, at 44 storeys, will become the tallest building in Cape Town and will comprise 570 apartments and 7,000 sqm of retail shops on ground level and station concourse level, he said.

The current tallest building in Cape Town is Portside Tower, at 32 floors, which is jointly owned by FirstRand Bank and Accelerate Property Fund. At the time of its completion in 2014 (at a cost of R1.6 billion), Portside was Cape Town CBD’s first new skyscraper in 15 years.

More info about the building can be found here. Below (left) is a render of the intended final building, (center) the location in the CBD where it will be constructed, and (right) Portside Tower.

 

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], Discott [3].

Cape Town Hosts World Travel Market Africa to Attract More Tourists to the Continent

The doors to the Cape Town International Convention Centre were opened on Wednesday morning with the hope that hundreds of millions worth of currency would change hands in the coming days.

The World Travel Market (WTM) Africa began in Cape Town and focuses on promoting and networking the tourism industry in Africa. In 2017, $365m (about R5.1bn) was exchanged in business transactions at the three-day event.

Nearly 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.

“Platforms such as WTM Africa provide us with an opportunity as Africans to share with the world what we have to offer not only as a city, or as a country, but as an African region,” Cape Town mayor Dan Plato told delegates.

“We are looking forward to sharing ideas with our counterparts on how to continue building a globally competitive tourism and business destination.”

The opening seminar focused on the economic potential the tourism industry has for SA.

“Currently, the tourism economy in Cape Town employs around 150,000 people which makes it the sector with the highest growth and employment potential,” said Plato.

Other panelists outlined plans to bring more visitors to SA. Tourism Business Council of SA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said the organisation aims to double the number of annual tourists in SA by 2030 to about 21-million.

Gillian Saunders, special adviser to tourism minister Derek Hanekom, said marketing strategies need to change be changed to attract more Africans to SA.

“Often aspirational destinations are in Europe, even though there is nothing wrong with Joburg and Cape Town,” Saunders said. “Aspirational destinations of Africans should also be down here.”

The event is hosting about 600 exhibitors and lasts until the evening of Friday 12 April 2019. For more information about the Expo, and to register, 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]. Image sources: [1], [2].