Minister Gigaba Thanks Tax Payers, Punts Financial Sector Reform

Posted on May 24th, 2017

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Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday paid tribute to the population of South Africans for “funding their government” through high tax compliance, despite tough economic circumstances prevailing.

“We continue to be grateful to South Africans for funding their government through high tax compliance even in these challenging times. Reliable and efficient tax collection is a critical capability for a developing country, and the SA Revenue Services (SARS) is an important asset in this regard,” Gigaba said while tabling National Treasury’s budget vote speech in Parliament.

“It [SARS] is charged with collecting R1.2 trillion this financial year. We will continue to work with SARS to ensure it can fulfill its mandate to the nation and collect the revenue required to ensure South Africans fund their fiscus themselves which is a vital test of national sovereignty.”

Gigaba said economic growth for 2016 came in below expectations, leading to an under-collection of tax revenue of more than R30 billion of what was forecast in the 2016 budget.

“Although tax revenues overall under-performed, there was an encouraging increase in corporate income taxes, showing that the economic activity may be starting to accelerate. Tax increases of R28 billion were announced for 2017/18 to consolidate the fiscal position, where the additional value will fall mainly on those with the highest incomes,” said Gigaba.

He said National Treasury would support parliamentary processes aimed at regulating the South African financial sector to make the industry inclusive.

“The financial sector plays a critical role in our country, but this must be enhanced to achieve the aspirations of all South Africans. The joint standing committees on finance and trade and industry have had a number of hearings on the transformation of the financial sector,” said Gigaba.

He said the committees found that the financial sector needed reinvigorating.

“We need to reinvigorate the financial sector charter to ensure all South Africans participate fully in the ownership, management, supply and take-up of financial services. Transforming the financial sector to better South Africa is key, including supporting SMEs and ensuring that financial institutions procure from SMEs and emerging businesses,” said Gigaba. (via African News Agency)

African Execs Still Choosing MBA

Top executives in South Africa and the rest of the world may no longer consider an MBA the postgraduate qualification of choice but research into the leadership landscape in key economic hubs in Africa shows that top African execs throughout the continent still choose to pursue an MBA.

Research into the leadership landscape in key economic hubs in Africa, conducted by Jack Hammer’s Africa Desk for its latest Executive Report (Volume IV – The Africa Report: Leadership Strategies for Sustainable Growth), researched the makeup of the 259 leaders from the executive teams of 36 multinational companies which successfully navigated expansion and growth in Africa. Companies researched included General ElectricSiemensUnileverMicrosoftCoca Cola and Procter & Gamble.

Findings into the leadership teams’ qualifications showed that top African execs throughout the continent were exponentially more likely to hold an MBA compared to their expat peers.

Of all the leaders surveyed, only 26% held MBAs. Yet local nationals held 81% of these MBAs, compared to only 19% of expats.

Explaining this stark difference between the number of expats and local nationals holding an MBA, Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO of Jack Hammer says that where the qualifications bar for African leaders to be noticed and stand out is high, an MBA continues to be seen as an effective way to differentiate oneself and prove grit, intellectual prowess and business savvy.

“Many African leaders who rise to the top have spent some years furthering their education abroad and multinationals will often invest in developing their top talent in this way, by financing and enabling a leader to pursue MBA studies.”

According to the Association of MBAs’ 2015 Application and Enrollment Report, enrollments for global MBA programmes from African students have risen by 4% since 2011. (via Bizcommunity)

African Development Bank Launches $500 Million Fund For Energy Inclusion

African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a $500 million fund for energy inclusion, with $100 million seed capital set to provide affordable finance for companies investing in renewable energy, reports Asoka Insight.

According to the report, the bank will also invest $24 billion towards agriculture in the next 10 years.

AfDB’s regional director for East Africa Gabriel Negatu is quoted saying the bank is set to hold its 52nd annual meetings this week in Ahmedabad, India.

The meetings scheduled for 22 to 26 May, will be held under the theme, “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa”.

The continental multilateral lender said the potential of the continent is not fully realised, resulting in underperformance and chronic food shortages. (via Asoko Insight)