Finance Minister Gigaba To Meet Business Leaders After SA Enters Recession

Updated on 7 June 2017

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

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday said he would seek a meeting with business leaders to shore up efforts to stimulate growth after the country officially entered its second recession in nine years as GDP growth contracted by 0.7 percent in the first quarter.

National Treasury said the latest quarterly figures put pressure on its forecast of 1.3 percent GDP growth for the year and would hamper service delivery.

“The current state of the economy puts more pressure on us as government, business, labour and broader society to intensify our growth programme and improve confidence as a matter of urgency to arrest the decline and set the economy on a higher growth trajectory,” the finance ministry said.

“The current growth rate, if sustained, will lead to a further decline in GDP per capita and revenue, risking the sustainability of our fiscal framework and more importantly undermining the delivery of social services.”

The treasury said the first quarter figures were worse than expected, a view echoed by economists who had anticipated a slight rebound after Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth contracted by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

The downturn means the country has now had two consecutive negative growth quarters which technically signals a recession.

The biggest negative driver for the first quarter was the trade, catering and accommodation industries, which shrank by 5.9 percent, according to figures released by Statistics South Africa. Manufacturing declined by 3.7 percent and household consumption by 2.3 percent.

In total, seven out of ten manufacturing divisions showed negative growth, among them petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic.

On the other hand, mining and agriculture grew by 22.2 and 12.8 percent respectively.

Economist Dawie Roodt said he had expected a more positive figure given the relatively low base of the previous quarter.

“We are in deep trouble. It is a deep and painful recession,” Roodt said, who added that he expected GDP growth for the year to be at just under or just above one percent.

“And that is not good because it means that the economy is growing slower than the population.” (via African News Agency)

Nelson Mandela Bay Top Businesses Named

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has announced its 2017 top 50 business award winners.

The 2017 award ceremony was hosted by the Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, at the Boardwalk Conference Centre on Tuesday.

Some of the winners include Algoa BusEyethu Fishing, Innowind and VWSA.

Trollip said companies from all sectors were recognised for their role in developing the economy, creating jobs and promoting investment.

This initiative forms part of a Trade and Investment Strategy to retain and recognise investors, past and present.

Trollip said the metro was well positioned as an international investment destination of choice and should thus capitalise on its niche offerings.

“The Metro is a major role player in agriculture and ocean economy, as well as other key economic areas. We therefore need to capitalise on our strengths and develop the economy of our city to become competitive with others such as Cape Town,” said Trollip.

As such, the continued “recognition of the contribution you make in our City is acknowledged, highly appreciated and celebrated”.

In recent years, some of the Nelson Mandela Bay’s local companies, big and small, have shown confidence in doing business in the region. This has translated to new investments in the manufacturing industry and considerable expansions or re-investments have materialised. (African News Agency)

Deputy Minister Thabethe Congratulates Tourism Buddies Graduates In The Free State

The Deputy Minister of Tourism Elizabeth Thabethe was in the Free State to recognise and congratulate Tourism Buddies at a graduation ceremony held at the Indoor Sports Centre in Motse ThabongWelkom on Tuesday.

The Tourism Buddies Programme is a Hospitality Training Programme targeting the unemployed youth of South Africa as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) of the Department of Tourism.

Over 80 trainees were awarded certificates after completing a 12 month learnership programme. Learners applied to be considered for either a National Certificate in Food and Beverages, which carries an NQF level 4, or a National Certificate in Accommodation Services of NQF level 2 – all fully accredited by the Culture, Art Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).

“Our department is committed to addressing youth unemployment through the Working for Tourism programme which will create 3347 full time equivalent jobs in both infrastructure and skills development programmes in this financial year,” said Deputy Minister Thabethe.

Key objectives of the training programme include the training of unemployed youth in order to enable them to acquire necessary skills in the area of hospitality, assisting the youth to gain work experience to enhance employability in the hospitality and tourism sector as well as contributing towards decreasing the unemployment rate in the country.

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