Talk of the Town - - Business Forum -

THE past week­end saw a trio of South African in­ter­na­tional fix­tures with some dis­ap­point­ments, sur­prises and a real SA “Bok glow” mo­ment. The Proteas headed home early af­ter suf­fer­ing a “must win” de­feat against In­dia in the ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy Tour­na­ment by eight wick­ets on Sun­day. Good job to Bafana Bafana who stunned Nige­ria in a 2-0 vic­tory on Satur­day in the Af­con qual­i­fiers. The Spring­boks are look­ing much bet­ter af­ter some young blood has been in­jected into the team. Our Boks man­aged to over­power France 37-17, at a half-empty Lof­tus Versveld on Satur­day. The same can­not be said about the Baby Boks, los­ing 24-22 to Eng­land in the semi­fi­nal of the World Ju­nior Rugby Cham­pi­onship on Tues­day evening. WELL done to Kelly Wicks Fer­reira who won the Emerg­ing En­tre­pre­neur prize at the Busi­ness Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion Awards 2017/In­vestec Re­gional Busi­ness Achiev­ers Awards on Tues­day. Quite a bid deal, I might add. Good job to the lo­cal lady! NEWS broke last week that Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Malusi Gi­gaba, then min­is­ter of home af­fairs (2015), granted the Gupta fam­ily early cit­i­zen­ships as South Africans. Gi­gaba hit back dur­ing the week and said he did not op­er­ate out­side if the realms of the law, and that the de­ci­sion was taken with no im­pro­pri­ety. “The grant­ing of nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion cer­tifi­cates of this na­ture is not un­usual. Sim­i­lar cour­te­sies have been ex­tended to prom­i­nent busi­ness­men, in­clud­ing ex­ec­u­tives of multi­na­tion­als and sports peo­ple. There is no im­pro­pri­ety on the part of the min­is­ter in re­la­tion to the man­ner in which this ap­pli­ca­tion has been han­dled,” Gi­gaba’s of­fice said in a state­ment on Tues­day. Now in my ex­pe­ri­ence, with friends, fam­i­lies and even some­times their chil­dren, cit­i­zen­ship can take up to ten years if they are lucky. I know of peo­ple whose spouses have been sep­a­rated from chil­dren when one of the par­ents had to leave the coun­try on ex­pired visas. But I guess it’s a case of who you know if you want to skip the long process. HAPPY Father’s Day for Sun­day to all the dads, grand­pas and male role mod­els out there. We hope you are spoilt and re­ceive much ap­pre­ci­a­tion from your loved ones! CONGRATULATIONS and ev­ery good wish to ev­ery­one hav­ing and hope­fully en­joy­ing a happy birth­day in the week ahead, es­pe­cially to Kae­lene Steyn, Denise Drew, Emma My­burgh, Ch­eryl Coates, Anne Wil­liams, Terry Illing­worth, Pat Hol­ford, Va­len­cia Ja­cobs, Ben­jemi Barnard, Tom Hartzen­berg, Liza Op­per­man, Betty Brem­mer, Hi­lary Smith, Tanya Schenk, An­nette Laas, An­nel­ize Cloete, Joan Buck­ley, Shane le Roux, Driekie Straus, Jean Page, An­drew du Plessis, Calla-Ann Faca, Win­ston Ver­maak, Linda Reynolds, Ce­celia Mor­ris, Gor­don Reynolds, Gavin Bree­den, Lynette Hansen, Keith Knight, Kris Gal­lager, James Boucher, Marie du Plessis, Cary Davis, Jen­nifer Groe­newald, June Barnes, Nox­olo Kiviet, Jeff Earle, Lyn Har­brecht, Karel Prins, June Smith, June Hart, Do­minique Wil­latt, Fuzeka Runeli, Chris Carter, Norma Terry, Amanda Lu­dick, Cindy Katz, Jean Whit­ting­ham and June Whit­taker. BUSI­NESS an­niver­sary congratulations with even more suc­cess in the year ahead to Guido’s, De­signer Laser En­grav­ing, Port Al­fred Coun­try Club, Leaf it to Me Gar­den Ser­vices, Mike’s Driv­ing School and Port Al­fred High School’s Founders Day. AF­TER news broke that South Africa is now in a tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion, con­sumers have had to buckle up and be ready for a bumpy road. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that a coun­try’s sta­tus can change from quar­ter to quar­ter de­pend­ing on its growth rate. Cur­rently we are listed with a grow­ing num­ber of coun­tries which have slipped into a tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion. These in­clude Ecuador, Equa­to­rial Guinea and Venezuela. This is the sec­ond re­ces­sion ex­pe­ri­enced in the post 1994 South Africa. It must be noted that re­ces­sions are rare events, as poli­cies are gen­er­ally aimed at eco­nomic growth. Rapid eco­nomic growth de­pends on in­vest­ment, which in turn is de­pen­dent on con­fi­dence and pos­i­tive ex­pec­ta­tions of the coun­try’s fu­ture. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s ad­min­is­tra­tion doesn’t in­stil con­fi­dence. This partly ex­plains sub­dued in­vest­ment. The re­cent credit risk down­grades into sub-in­vest­ment grade has made South Africa a less at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. So, how do we get out of it? We need in­vest­ments. As much as it is start­ing to sound like the plot of a Joseph Heller novel. The up­side is, we can get out again. In­vest­ment will boost de­mand in the econ­omy, with good spill-over into a num­ber of sec­tors. Restor­ing South Africa’s credit risk rat­ing to in­vest­ment grade would help boost in­vest­ment. A bet­ter credit rat­ing would re­duce the risk of in­vest­ing in the coun­try. So let’s sit tight for now, and cross our fin­gers, that the up­com­ing credit rat­ing from global credit rat­ing agency Moodys goes down well. The rand man­aged to keep good ground and sta­bi­lize from last week. At the time of go­ing to press and with last year’s fig­ures in brack­ets to com­pare against, the rand was trad­ing at R12.76 to the dol­lar (R15.24), R16.31 to the Pound (R21.61) and R14.32 to the euro (R17.10). Gold is trad­ing at $1268.50 per fine ounce ($1252.51), plat­inum at $938.50 per fine ounce ($981.47) and only Brent crude oil at $46.13 per bar­rel ($51.73). SPE­CIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, who are hav­ing or have al­ready had tests, op­er­a­tions and treat­ments. “Sterkte” to Roy Pot­ter, An­drew de Vries, June Hart, Dot Fether­ston­haugh, Ben Kem­ber, Myrna Keet, Bar­bara Tee, Brenda Shel­ton. HEART­FELT con­do­lences and spe­cial thoughts to Des and Angi Bezuiden­hout on the pass­ing of Angi’s mom, Merle Miles, wife of Fer­gus Miles. A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at the Dutch Re­formed Church in Cath­cart on Fri­day at 11 p.m. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time. May happy mem­o­ries sus­tain you. WED­DING an­niver­sary congratulations to all cou­ples en­joy­ing such an oc­ca­sion, es­pe­cially Ken and Cather­ine Reynolds, Barry and Herma Pur­don, Bradley and Kathryn Fick, Reay and Dee Squires. BE­LATED 58th wed­ding an­niver­sary congratulations to Ge­off and Peggy Southey. We wish you a blessed an­niver­sary as well as many more happy years to come. THOUGHT for the week: “Calm­ness of mind is one of the beau­ti­ful jew­els of wis­dom”. BEST re­gards as al­ways, The Team

LOVE THAT LASTS: Cel­e­brat­ing their di­a­mond wed­ding an­niver­sary are John and Mary An­stiss, who shared the great oc­ca­sion with their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren last week. You are an in­spi­ra­tion to fam­i­lies ev­ery­where. We hope you en­joy your long love for...

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