Barclays Africa ‘disappointed’ as downgrade fallout spreads

Updated on 7 April 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (7 April)


Barclays Africa on Thursday said it was very disappointed by recent events that had lead to downgrades of South Africa’s and the bank’s own credit rating, saying they placed at risk the livelihoods of many South Africans.

The statement said the downgrades were particularly disappointing because the country had been building momentum towards better economic growth by the end of this year.

“During the past 14 months, Barclays Africa has actively participated in various initiatives in support of government’s efforts to effect much-needed structural reforms, in order to stimulate inclusive economic growth,” the bank said.

“We remain committed to doing so, but an abrupt interruption to this programme is unhelpful and places at risk the livelihoods of many South Africans.”

The bank, which trades under the Absa brand in South Africa, issued the statement in the wake of announcements from international ratings agencies about the downgrading of South Africa’s credit ratings in the wake of last week’s late-night cabinet reshuffle.

After last Thursday’s reshuffle initiated by President Jacob Zuma, which included the axing of Pravin Gordhan, the country’s respected finance minister, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, S&P Global downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to below investment grade and Moody’s put the country on review for downgrade.

A knock-on effect on the credit ratings of banks was expected. Barclays Africa said it was the norm for banks’ credit rating to be changed in concert with a country’s because of the intermediary role banks played in an economy.

The statement warned that it “takes enormous effort over many years to regain an investment grade sovereign rating” and urged all stakeholders to “continue to work together to rediscover consensus on how to achieve inclusive growth”.

What to expect from Tourism Indaba 2017

The countdown to Indaba 2017 has begun, with South African Tourism putting the final touches on an event that aims to foster closer collaboration and more targeted business interactions than ever before. Showcasing a vast and eclectic selection of tourism products from all over Africa, this year’s Indaba promises to be a productive trade show for buyers, exhibitors, and media alike.

Indaba will return to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 16 to 18 May 2017, sporting a more streamlined programme and improved floor layout to make it easier for the world to come and sample the tourism treasures Africa has to offer.

This year’s heightened focus on matching like-minded tourism industry players is aimed at driving successful business deals while helping to showcase the kaleidoscope of product options on offer.

The Hidden Gems zone – located at the SMME pavilion in Hall 5, directly opposite the luxury pavilion – will introduce the world’s travel buyers and visitors to small tourism enterprises from each of South Africa’s nine provinces that may otherwise have remained undiscovered, in the hope of encouraging a broader range of authentic tourism experiences to be included in tours to South Africa.

Delegates at the trade show will be exposed to the full breadth of Africa’s tourism offerings, including high-end products at the Tourism Grading Council’s new luxury pavilion, located in Hall 5 at the ICC. This feature will cater to global buyers who are on the lookout for the premier five-star offerings many destinations on the continent are famed for.

Water and Waste management Challenge moves to the next stage

LaunchLab together with the Stellenbosch University and the Stellenbosch Innovation District (SID) are engaging in an exclusive Water and Waste Management Challenge to look for solutions to this local, national and international crisis.

The challenge has now moved to the next stage: The Ideas Programme Pitching, which has now started on participating campuses around the country which includes Stellenbosch University (SU), University of Western Cape (UWC) and the UCT GSB (Graduate School of Business).

The contest is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs from student and non-student communities and is running until the 5th of May. It is an exciting platform for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative solutions and stand a chance to win their share of R50,000 in seed funding and LaunchLab incubation support to the value of R60,000.

They are looking for business solutions with potential that may create the next breakthrough innovation within the following areas:

Water and waste management solutions that improve the quality of our water sources; water filtration and treatment solutions; water saving solutions; water and waste recycling solutions; water and waste management solutions for at work and at home and water and waste management solutions for agriculture

Interested entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to submit their pitch online or visit our website to find out more details.

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