SA Jobless Rate Stagnant At 27.7% For Third Quarter

Updated on 1 November 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (1 November)

The official unemployment rate has remained unchanged quarter-to-quarter at 27.7 percent for the third quarter of 2017, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday.

According to StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), this is still 0.6 of a percentage point higher compared to the same period last year.

Employment grew by 92,000 in third quarterly of 2017, but was offset by an additional 33,000 job-seekers during the same period, resulting in a stable unemployment rate of 27.7 percent.

All other industries reported employment growth quarter-to-quarter except manufacturing, construction and agriculture which declined by 50,000, 30,000 and 25,000 respectively.

The largest decline in the unemployment rate was recorded in the Free State (down by 2.6 percentage points), Limpopo (down by 1.7 percentage points) and Mpumalanga (down by 1.6 percentage points).

The expanded unemployment rate which includes those who wanted to work but did not look for work increased by 0.2 of a percentage point in third quarter of 2017 to 36.8 percent.

StatsSA said that people with an education level of less than Matric contributed 57.4 percent of the unemployed with unemployment rate of 32.6 percent.

The youth (aged 15-34) remained vulnerable in the labour market with an unemployment rate of 38.6 percent, which is 10.9 percentage points above the national average.

MyRunner Named Zimbabwe’s Best Startup At Seedstars Harare 2017

On October 27th during Seedstars Harare, MyRunner won the Zimbabwe round of Seedstars World and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to USD 1 million in equity investment and other prizes.

The platform which allows users to book their bus tickets and track its location was selected the most promising startup in Zimbabwe. As a part of the prize, myRunner will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a week long training program with the opportunity to meet the other +75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment and other prizes.

Munch, a tech-based, logistics, online food ordering company that connects hungry food lovers with local restaurants in their city came second, and Equities Nest, a platform will help you get started on the African stock markets with a few clicks, grabbed the last spot in the top three.

Additionally, two additional prizes were announced during the event. The civic tech prize went to Tipster, which is democratising the news making process by placing the power of the media into the hands of the ordinary people. The Best Learner prize, awarded to the startup that showed the most progress during the two day bootcamp organized at Impact Hub, went to Commonground, a peer-networking app that connects university students to share projects, ideas, and opportunities.

The five startups will be part of a Zimbabwe delegation that will attend the upcoming Africa Regional Summit in Maputo, Mozambique from the 12th to 14th of December.

Direct Pay Online Group Receives Second Investment Of $5M From Apis

Direct Pay Online Group (DPO) has received a second investment of $5M from the UK based private equity fund, Apis Partners. This investment, which follows the initial $10M investment made last year, will be used to fuel DPO Group’s ambitious strategic plan which includes organic growth across Africa, strengthening the Group’s position through mergers and acquisitions, integrating the systems of all companies under the group, developing the new payments technology and the DumaPay app.

“The additional capital from Apis is a sign of the confidence that our partners have in us, and is a positive reinforcement of the good work we are doing with the business,” said DPO Group Chairman, Offer Gat. “DPO Group has achieved and exceeded the plans laid out in the first phase of the strategic plan. We have established a presence in 12 African countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Mauritius. We further plan to set up operations in Nigeria, Ghana, DRC and Mozambique by the end of 2017.”

According to the plan, DPO Group has also finalised the acquisition of five companies – Pay Gate and VCS in South Africa, VCS in Namibia and Botswana, and PayThru in South Africa, and are in the final stages of acquiring an additional company which will be announced later this year. The Group has further completed the first phase of integration between DPO and PayGate’s systems, and rolled out a new version of its next generation payments application, DumaPay, which is the first mobile application  in Africa that supports multiple payment options.

Direct Pay Online Group CEO, Eran Feinstein said: “2017 has been an extremely successful year for us and we are very proud of the strides we have made towards the achievement of our goals. This most recent capital injection will help to further the Group’s strategic plans in the region which will include the establishment of up to 26 branches across Africa, the acquisition of at least one additional company, and the continuation of our technological distribution across Africa.”

Apis Partners is a private equity asset manager that supports growth-stage financial services businesses in Africa and Asia by providing them catalytic growth equity capital.

Commenting on the investment, Apis Partners said: “We first invested in the DPO Group because we believed that they are a well-managed business providing quality financial services to African consumers. The Group has exceeded our expectations with the gains that they made in the last year and we believe that our additional investment will push DPO further in establishing itself as the leading payments processor in Africa.”

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