City of Cape Town Wants More Investment, Congratulates Hisense On Millionth Manufacturing Milestone

Updated on 12 June 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (12 June)


The City of Cape Town is increasing efforts to attract investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI), to the city, Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Sunday.

She congratulated local consumer goods manufacturer Hisense on the milestone of producing its millionth television and millionth fridge at its factory in Atlantis.

Hisense has become somewhat of an anchor investment into the Atlantis industrial area – an area which is witnessing an upsurge in manufacturing activity,” De Lille said.

It had been four years since Hisense opened its factory in this area. It currently employs about 500 full-time employees.

“We are truly grateful that Hisense chose Cape Town as their base for operations into the rest of Africa and wish them great success with their expansion plans in extending their production lines,” she said.

Hisense was exporting to 13 African countries from its Cape Town facility.

The city government was intricately involved in helping to facilitate the investment by Hisense more than four years ago and stood ready to facilitate further investments.

“As part of our organisational development and transformation plan, we will work relentlessly to continue getting on with our efforts in line with our transformational priority of enhancing economic inclusion.

“We remain committed to building an opportunity city that is open for business so that we can continue to attract investment and alleviate poverty by providing much-needed jobs for the people of our city,” De Lille said.

The city’s 2012 economic growth strategy had several key intervention areas at the core of the city’s investment attraction efforts. These included reducing red tape; creating a one-stop-shop in the mayor’s office; rolling out a business incentives programme; improving Cape Town’s reputation as a serious investment destination by establishing Invest Cape Town; and focusing on infrastructure investment to create a crowding-in effect with the private sector.

Some of these interventions included an extensive broadband roll-out, pursuing energy security, and growing air access to increase direct flights to Cape Town. (via African News Agency)

Basa Welcomes Moody’s Announcement, But Warns Impact Of Junk Status Is Yet To Be Felt

South Africa has not yet experienced the full impact of the downgrades to “junk” status by rating agencies S&P Global and Fitch, mainly because of US dollar weakness and other global conditions, the Banking Association South Africa (Basa) said on Saturday.

Nevertheless, Basa welcomed the decision by rating agency Moody’s on Friday to keep South Africa’s sovereign ratings above sub-investment grade.

“This is good news amid the recent news of our economy being technically in recession. However, we must not be lulled into a sense of complacency that detracts from addressing the critical issues that led to downgrades to ‘junk’ status [by S&P Global and Fitch]. We also warn that Moody’s has SA on a negative outlook,” Basa MD Cas Coovadia said.

“We have not yet experienced the full impact of the downgrades by S&P and Fitch primarily because of dollar weakness and other global conditions. Also, SA’s improved agricultural output has helped reduce inflation, which has helped keep interest rates steady. The South African economy, however, has sunk into recession.

“The medium to long-term impacts of these downgrades will be significant and will put additional pressures on an already weak economy. We thus need a sense of urgency from government to address critical blockages, most of which are in the government’s domain,” he said.

The failure by the government to deal with concerns relating to certainty around key economic policy areas, significant ongoing uneasiness around leadership, and an outright failure to successfully implement efforts that grow the economy or create jobs all pointed to a bleak future despite South Africa narrowly avoiding a third junk-status downgrade.

Unemployment was at its highest levels in over a decade and real GDP had begun to contract. Both factors pointed to the impact of these earlier ratings downgrades and reaffirmed the very real social and economic shock that was already affecting all South Africans.

“In the absence of clear political leadership and policy certainty, Basa remains convinced that it is incumbent for business, labour, and civil society to work jointly in the national interest of our country,” Coovadia said. (via African News Agency)

Startups Invited To Apply For 1776 Challenge Cup

Leadspace, in partnership with 1776 and Revolution, is inviting startups to apply for Challenge Cup Lagos, taking place on 25 August 2017. Fifteen to twenty startups will pitch for the chance to win a paid trip to New York City for the Global Final round.

The worldwide Challenge Cup competition allows the most promising startups to win prizes, make connections, and share their vision on a global stage. This year, 1776 is partnering with 75 cities to host Challenge Cup Local events.

One winner will advance with a free trip to the Global Finals at Challenge Festival in New York City from 13-17 November 2017. There, the finalists will compete for the grand prize as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media, and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.

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