Posts

New African Wealth Report Reveals The Richest Cities on the Continent

New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank have published the latest African Wealth Report, showing the levels of wealth of various African nations at the end of 2018.

According to the report, South Africa is still the richest country in Africa, with the high net worth (HNWI) population of 39,200 people holding the most wealth at $649 billion.

This is double that of the second wealthiest African nation, Egypt, where the HNWI population of 16,700 people holds $303 billion.

Egypt is followed by Nigeria ($225 billion), Morocco ($114 billion) and Kenya ($93 billion).

Total wealth held on the continent amounts to US$2.2 trillion. Around US$920 billion (42%) of this is held by HNWIs, New World Wealth said.

While South Africa ranks at the top of the list, on a per capita basis ($11,450), it is only the second wealthiest nation – following behind Mauritius, where wealth per capita sits at $31,000.

Africa’s richest cities

South African cities ranks as the top richest cities on the continent, with Johannesburg and Cape Town holding the most HNWI wealth among the major cities covered, taking the first and second spots, respectively.

Total wealth held in Johannesburg amounts to US$248 billion, while total wealth held by Cape Town amounting to US$133 billion.

Most of Johannesburg’s wealth is concentrated in Sandton, New World Wealth said, which is home to the JSE (the largest stock market in Africa) and to the head offices of most of Africa’s largest banks and corporates.

Cape Town, meanwhile, is home to Africa’s most exclusive and expensive suburbs such as Clifton, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. It is also a hotspot for wealthy second home owners from around the world. Major sectors there include: real estate, financial services (fund management), retail and tourism.

Also in the top five from South Africa is Durban and Umhlanga (combined), which holds total HNWI wealth of US$54 billion.

This figure includes wealth held in Durban, Umhlanga, La Lucia and Ballito. Notably, Umhlanga and Ballito are two of the fastest growing areas in SA, in terms of wealth growth over the past 10 years, the group said.

Among other African countries, Cairo (Egypt), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya) stand out as wealthy cities, sitting on par with South Africa’s popular HNWI areas.

Total wealth held in Cairo amounts to US$129 billion – and the city is home to more billionaires than any other African city (four billionaires live there, compared to just two in Johannesburg).

In Lagos, total wealth held in the city amounts to US$96 billion. This is the largest city in Africa, in terms of population and GDP (but not in terms of wealth).

The richest cities in Africa.

The richest areas in South Africa.

 

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].

WEF’s 2019 Global Competitiveness Report: Singapore Overtakes USA for Number 1 Spot. Where Does SA Stand?

Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the world economy remains locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth despite the injection of more than $10 trillion by central banks. The latest Global Competitiveness Report paints a gloomy picture, yet it also shows that those countries with a holistic approach to socio-economic challenges, look set to get ahead in the race to the frontier.

The World Economic Forum‘s (WEF) latest Global Competitiveness Report 2019 showed that Singapore has overtaken the United States to become the most competitive nation in the world. The US is losing ground in measures such as “healthy life expectancy” and preparedness for the future skills needed in the 21st century, the report says.

Some of this year’s better performers appear to be benefiting from the trade feud between China and the US, including Singapore and Vietnam. Led by Singapore, the East Asia and the Pacific
region is the most competitive in the world.

Covering 141 economies, the index measures national competitiveness—defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity and long-term economic growth.

The report measures the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, arranged into 12 pillars. Each indicator, or ‘pillar’ uses a scale from 0 to 100, to show how close an economy is to the ideal state or ‘frontier’ of competitiveness in that area. With a score of 84.8, Singapore is the world’s most competitive economy in 2019, overtaking the US, which falls to second place. Hong Kong SAR, Netherlands and Switzerland round up the top five.

Top 10 performers on the 2019 WEF Global Competitiveness Report.

“The world is at a social, environmental and economic tipping point. Subdued growth, rising inequalities and accelerating climate change provide the context for a backlash against capitalism, globalization, technology, and elites,” the WEF warned.

“There is gridlock in the international governance system and escalating trade and geopolitical tensions are fueling uncertainty. “This holds back investment and increases the risk of supply shocks: disruptions to global supply chains, sudden price spikes or interruptions in the availability of key resources,” it said.

Singapore

Singapore has long been a thriving global financial center, and has built itself up despite limited land. After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed rapidly as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce.

The city-state is classified as an Alpha+ global city, indicating its influence on the global economy. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, and one of 11 worldwide. Singapore is a highly developed country and is ranked 9th on the UN Human Development Index, the highest in Asia for a sovereign state, with the 3rd highest GDP per capita in the world. It was ranked the most expensive city to live in from 2013 to 2019 by the Economist, and is identified as a tax haven.

Along with benefits from the ongoing US-China trade war, Singapore’s financial system and macroeconomic stability raised its rating.

Singapore ranked 2nd overall in the 2018 report. This year, the country ranks first in terms of infrastructure, health, labor market functioning, and financial system.

While Hong Kong was penalized in points for their lacking worker protection (scoring only 10 points, and ranking 116th in the category), Singapore ranked well, scoring 89 points, and ranking 18th for worker protection.

Singapore improves from an already high base on 10 of the 12 pillars, and its score on every pillar is between 4 and 19 points higher than the OECD average. The country ranks first on the Infrastructure pillar (95.4), where it also ranks first for road quality infrastructure, efficiency of seaport and airport services, and sea transport connectivity. It also tops the Health (100), Labor market (81.2) and Financial system pillars (+2.0 points, 91.3), and achieves a nearly perfect score for Macroeconomic stability (+7.1, 99.7, 38th).

Performance in terms of market efficiency (81.2, 2nd behind Hong Kong SAR) is driven by the fact that Singapore is the most open economy in the world. Singapore ranks 2nd (80.4) for the quality of public institutions, behind Finland, but its performance is undermined by limited checks and balances (65.9, 23rd)—Singapore notably ranks 124th on the Freedom of the Press Index—and lack of commitment to sustainability (63.5, 66th). Going forward, in order to become a global innovation hub, Singapore will need to promote entrepreneurship and further improve its skills base, albeit from a relatively high base (78.8, 19th).

Southern Africa

Led by Mauritius (52nd), sub-Saharan Africa is overall the least competitive region, with 25 of the 34 economies assessed this year scoring below 50.

South Africa, the second most competitive in the region, improves to the 60th position, while Namibia (94th), Rwanda (100th), Uganda (115th) and Guinea (122nd) all improve significantly, the WEF showed. Among the other large economies in the region, Kenya (95th) and Nigeria (116th) also improve their performances, but lose some positions, overcome by faster climbers, the report said.

South Africa

South Africa’s competitiveness has regained momentum after the recent political landscape shift and climbed seven places in 2019. The country is a regional financial hub (83.2, 19th), with well-developed equity, insurance and credit markets, all achieving a score of 100, the report said.

South Africa’s WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2019 scores.

It has also developed one of the most advanced transport infrastructures in the region (45th) and is among the top countries in Africa for market size (35th). Beyond these established strengths, health conditions—though starting from a low base (118th)—are better, adding 3.3 years to the average healthy life expectancy since the last assessment. Institutional quality has also improved (55th) but unevenly, the report said.

Some aspects of this category have achieved ‘remarkable progress’, including restored balance of powers across different state’s entities (16th), enhanced administrative efficiency of the public sector (39th) and corporate governance (26th).

Other aspects however, continue to perform poorly: security (135th) remains one of the main restraints to South Africa’s competitiveness, while transparency (62nd) and government adaptability to change (100th) are also below par, the report said.

“Further, South Africa’s competitiveness is being held back by relatively low business dynamism (60th), which is inhibited by insolvency regulation and administrative burdens to start a business, and a persistently insufficient labor market flexibility (111th),” the WEF said.

The report showed that flexibility of wage determination is limited (134th) and hiring foreign labor is difficult (123rd). “South Africa’s sensitivity to exports of mineral resources is likely to hit the country’s economic outlook and will make reducing unemployment (projected above 27%) challenging. “Against this backdrop, structural reforms are needed tore-ignite the economy and offer better opportunities to a larger share of South African citizens.”

How to get to number 1

The index examines the relationship between competitiveness and the two other dimensions of sustainable development – social cohesiveness and environmental sustainability. It shows that there are no inherent trade-offs between competitiveness and sustainability, and between competitiveness and social cohesiveness. This suggests a “win-win” policy space, where a productive, low-carbon, inclusive economy is possible, and it is the only viable option going forward.

  1. Be an all-rounder: The report is a reminder to apply a holistic approach and to better balance short-term considerations against factors whose impact is felt beyond quarterly results and election cycles. For example, the results of the index show that labor and education policies have not been keeping up with the pace of innovation in most countries, including in some of the largest and most innovative economies.
  2. Integrate tech: Governments must better anticipate the unintended consequences of technological integration and implement complementary social policies that support populations through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The report shows that several economies with strong innovation capability like South Korea, Japan and France, or increasing capability, like China, India and Brazil, must improve their talent base and the functioning of their labor markets.
  3. Education: Talent adaptability is critical. It pays to enable the workforce to contribute to the technology revolution and to be able to cope with its disruptions. Talent adaptability also requires a well-functioning labor market that protects workers, not jobs. Advanced economies such as South Korea, Italy, France and, to some extent, Japan need to develop their skills base and tackle rigidities in their labor markets.

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

Visa Changes Coming to South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs is working on a number of changes to South Africa’s visa regime, in an effort to make the country more accessible for visitors, investors and people with skills that are critical to building the economy.

Presenting at the monthly Presidential Working Committee on Monday (7 October), Home Affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that his department has lowered turnaround times for critical work skills visas, which are now issued within four weeks in 88.5% of applications.

By comparison, business and general work visas are issued within eight weeks in 98% of applications.

“In November, the Department of Home Affairs will embark on a pilot scheme for the issuing of e-visas, which applicants will be able to access online, eliminating the need for applicants to visit South African missions abroad.

“The department has also located visa services within the offices of various investment facilitation agencies around the country.

“In addition, visa requirements have been simplified for countries such as China and India, which are key markets for tourism to South Africa,” he said.

New countries can now visit South Africa visa-free

Motsoaledi added that the government also recently waived visas for travelers from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, New Zealand, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.

In July, a spokesperson told BusinessTech that the Department of Home Affairs will also enter into talks with their counterparts in a number of countries to allow visa-free access for South African travelers.

While countries such as Qatar and Ghana already have visa-free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa, it would be considered a serious boon if South Africans could travel visa-free to countries such as the UAE and New Zealand.

Department spokesperson Siya Qoza said that Home Affairs was currently in talks with these countries on two main issues.

“We have entered negotiations with these countries with the first priority being an implementation date for visa-free access to South Africa.

“Once this has been confirmed, our second priority is reciprocity.”

Qoza said that initial conversations held with these countries have been positive, with talks expected to be concluded by September.

He added that Home Affairs may expand these negotiations to other countries.

“We are consistently looking at which countries would be of a trade and tourism benefit to South Africa,” he said.

 

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].

Home Affairs Umgeni Staff Commended

This letter was written by D Boardwin, and sent to Berea Mail.

My passport expired on 19 June and I had to renew both my partner’s and mine simultaneously.

After having read so many negative comments about Home Affairs I was pretty apprehensive about going through the process and this is where my whole perception of Home Affairs changed.We visited the Home Affairs in Umgeni Road on Tuesday, 13 August at 8.30am and by 10.30am we were out with the 100 others before us. This they achieved notwithstanding being short of one camera,which is the most time consuming part of the process. The staff were very courteous and very organised and efficient.

The only negative comment I have to make is in respect of some people who sat in the queue of seats just moaning every step of the way – of the 100 or so there were four or five at the most who just couldn’t handle sharing the queue with anyone else. I guessed that this small minority were spoilt in the past (prior 1994) and that should explain everything.

On Monday, 19 August, four working days after I applied, I received an SMS informing me that the passports were ready for collection. At 11.45am we entered the Home Affairs Collections Division and by 12pm we were back in our car.

Need I say more – I believe that South Africans must accept that things have changed and its time for them to change with the times.

Home Affairs Umgeni Offices have my vote of confidence. We need to be more supportive and positive. Churchill once said that “if you nothing good to say, then don’t say anything.”

 

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].

SA Home Affairs: Budget Cuts Will Not Results in Office Closures

The South African Department of Home Affairs says that compulsory budget cuts will not mean it has to close any of its offices, but will have a “negative impact on the filling of some posts”.

Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, confirmed his department was facing compulsory budget cuts in reply to a Parliamentary question from the DA’s Joseph McGluwa.

“Budget cuts will have a negative impact on the filling of some posts, but we are not envisioning closure of any Home Affairs office,” he said.

Details of the cuts are contained in a document published by National Treasury in June. The paper provides national departments and public entities with guidelines of how to prepare their budget submissions.

It refers to a compulsory budget baseline reduction scenario of:

  • 5 percent in 2020/21;
  • 6 percent in 2021/22; and
  • 7 percent in 2022/23.

Departments must show how they can make cuts with the least impact for service delivery, and must suggest “non-priority programs and projects to be scaled down or closed.

 

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].