Christine Lagarde

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Calls for G20 Policies to Make Growth More Resilient and More Widely Shared

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
“As we conclude this G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting—the first under Argentina’s leadership—the global economic recovery has continued to strengthen, with growth momentum now involving more than 80 percent of total G20 GDP. This provides for very welcome jobs growth and room to undertake important reforms. As I have said before, we should fix the roof while the sun shines.
“Reform is all the more important because the cyclical forces carrying current growth will eventually wane and medium-term prospects remain weak, especially in advanced economies. Beyond the short term, risks are accumulating—for example, debt levels are high in advanced economies and continue to increase in many emerging market and low-income countries; and global imbalances persist—and could be exacerbated by the policy mix in some of the major economies.
“In my discussions over the past two days, I have emphasized that now is an opportune moment to implement reforms to make growth more solid, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive. I joined others in reiterating that we should avoid the temptation of inward-looking policies and, rather, work together to reduce trade barriers and resolve trade disagreements without resorting to exceptional measures.
“I also emphasized the importance of addressing the buildup of debt in the public and private sectors, following a long period of easy financial conditions. This creates financial vulnerabilities,especially as monetary conditions tighten. To mitigate these risks, countries should take advantage of the current momentum by building fiscal buffers—creating more room to act in the next downturn—and by making active use of macro- and microprudential policies. Flexible exchange rates can help mitigate external shocks.
I welcome the G20’s continued vigilance of capital flows and its call to enhance the transparency of low-income countries’ debt by both debtors and creditors. The IMF is looking forward to contributing to these important work streams, amongst others.
“Our discussions in Buenos Aires focused on a range of other issues that are key to lifting productivity and making growth more resilient and more widely shared. These included the future of work,in the light of rapid technological change; international tax challenges, particularly related to digitalization and transparency; the opportunities and challenges posed by Fintech and Crypto-assets; and efforts to close the global infrastructure gap.
In all these areas, international cooperation is essential. The IMF, for example, is working with other institutions through the Platform for Collaboration on Tax to help developing countries mobilize revenue to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. I am also encouraged that the G20 Ministers and Governors reaffirmed their commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF at the center of the global financial safety net.
“Finally, I would like to thank the Argentine authorities for their excellent organization and effective leadership of this G20 meeting. I applaud the resolute reforms implemented by President Macri during the first years of his administration to address economic imbalances and to reintegrate Argentina into the global financial and monetary system. I look forward very much to returning to Argentina for the next G20 meetings in July and November.”


Land Issue could Delay Rating Agency Upgrade says FEDUSA 20 March 2018

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) as labour participated with government together with business in the international investor roadshow, who met with rating agency Standards and Poor, Fitch, Moody’s and eighty other investors from 12 to 16 March 2018 in London and New York, said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

Rating agencies and investors were pleased with the appointment of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Musa Nene, Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele and congratulated the officials of National Treasury, that they managed the transition and the dark days of political uncertainty well in a professional and constructive manner in the interest of the country, added George.

Minister Nene designed a new methodology for this roadshow and suggested a “question and answer sessions” other than a presentation approach, as it gives the rating agencies and investors an opportunity to zero directly into the critical areas of concern. Rating agencies and investors focused mostly on future growth expectations, budget reforms, land redistribution without compensation, labour market reforms, and state owned companies (Eskom) and investor confidence.

Rating agencies and investors argued that land redistribution without compensation, the state owned companies specifically Eskom’s debt of more than R350 billion and structural reforms are the major barriers to uncertainty for the country.

Within this context, Moody’s is scheduled to publish its rating decision on South Africa’s debt this week, after cutting the country’s debt one level in June last year. Moody’s currently has South Africa one notch above junk status, though the rating is on review for downgrade and the announcement will be made on Friday 23 March 2018.

If South Africa loses its Moody’s investment grade status it was be a major economic disaster as certain types of investors, usually big pension funds or Exchange Traded Funds are mandated to only buy high-grade debt. Thus meaning that these investors are forced to sell any bonds if Moody’s downgraded the country to junk.

A downgrade would remove South Africa out of the Citi World Government Bond Index and the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index, which could in turn trigger financial outflows of as much as $6 billion (R72 billion). Moreover, a cut to junk could trigger up to R100 billion ($8.5 billion) in selling by foreign investors.

However, Team South Africa has noticed change in sentiment, since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as president, and Moody’s also had a constructive meeting with president Ramaphosa a week prior to Team South Africa departing on the International Investor Roadshow said George.

Team South Africa assured investors and rating agencies that land redistribution without compensation would be done in a constitutional and responsible manner, while fiscal consolidation, both on the revenue and expenditure side will be managed prudently. The capacity of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) will be strengthened to improve tax collection, concluded George.

COMESA Virtual University Programme to Begin in Two Months

Admission of the pioneer students of the COMESA Virtual University will commence in May 2018 at the Kenyatta University in Kenya. The admission was planned to kick off in September 2017 but was delayed to allow the conclusion of administrative procedures of the university education regulatory authority in Kenya

Kenyatta University was selected to host the first Masters Degree program in regional integration during a consultative forum of the 22 collaborating universities from COMESA Member States. At the forum, it was agreed to commence a collaborative masters’ degree programme in regional integration in the medium term, with an objective of establishing a fully-fledged university in the long run.

The COMESA Virtual University Masters Degree is a multi-disciplinary program intended to bring together world-class academics, researchers and practitioners from leading institutions around the world to learning centres in participating universities through a virtual platform. The course is a professional course designed for government officials working in departments dealing with trade, integration and cooperation issues and students intending to work as trade officers, trade policy analysts, advisers, researchers and trade attaches.

It also targets the private sector trade practitioners and economic operators; journalists covering trade issues; chambers of commerce, manufacturer and consumer associations, diplomatic missions, development organizations dealing with trade and integration issues, among others. It is also suitable for middle level trade researchers and consultants.

The teaching modules for 30 courses have been developed with financial support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). The review process was done by academic experts across the world to ensure good quality of the material and knowledge to be passed to the students. To obtain the degree, students will be required to take and pass 10 core courses and five electives, and complete a dissertation and an internship, over a two-year period.
The program will provide a sound conceptual, policy and practical training on regional integration, but will also help extend access to research opportunities and higher education on regional integration within and outside the COMESA region. The program covers economics, trade, law, political economy, trade and finance, IT and innovation, among others.

Last week, a COMESA Secretariat team led by the Director of Trade and Customs, Dr Francis Mangeni met stakeholders in Kenya, among them, the State Department of International Trade, the Kenyan Commission of University Education and the Kenyatta University to fast-track the remaining steps towards kickstarting the first semester.
Dr Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of International Trade pledged Kenya’s commitment in ensuring the implementation of the programme begins as planned.

The Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Prof Paul Wainaina confirmed its readiness to offer the unique masters programme. The University Senate approved the Programme in 2017 and submitted it to Kenya Commission of University Education (KCUE) for final approval in October 2017. It was confirmed that the KCUE had now accredited the programme and given Kenyatta University the go ahead to advertise for admission of students to commence learning in May 2018 when it next trimester begins.

“The Kenyatta University Digital School is also working round the clock to ensure that the first trimester modules are sunk into the tablets to be distributed to students and the e-tutors are trained by April 2018 so that in May the teaching commences,” Dr Mangeni reported.

In the first Trimester, five core courses will be taught: Economic Research Methodology; Microeconomic Foundations for Trade; International Trade Theory and Policy; International Trade Law and Theory of Regional Integration.
The programme was launched in October 2016 during the COMESA Heads of State Summit in Madagascar as a response to some of the challenges facing regional integration not only in COMESA but Africa at large.

“A critical cause of the slow progress in regional integration is the inability of governments to implement the numerous obligations and programs, due to the apparent lack of institutional and human capital and related support mechanisms,” Dr Mangeni said. “Regional integration programs are not always woven into or operationalised as part of the domestic policy processes.”
It is believed that the small number of continental institutions offering appropriate, flexible and affordable Regional Integration programs is a contributing factor. The COMESA Virtual University is therefore a response to this situation.


The Department of Home Affairs has taken note of a video clip which depicts an official seemingly preoccupied with her cellular phone while at work.

The Department can confirm that the official is stationed at the Beitbridge Port of Entry.

This morning, Wednesday, 14 March 2018, Minister Malusi Gigaba issued an instruction to the Department to act swiftly to address the matter. The Department’s policy prohibits the usage of cellular phones by front office officials while performing their duties.  

The official has been identified and she will be subjected to internal disciplinary processes. Further to this, disciplinary measures have commenced against the three supervisors on the shift for lack of adequate supervision.

Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has expressed his displeasure at the lack of attention paid to the actual duty performed by the official in direct violation of the policy against use of cellular phones at workstations.

“Of major concern to me is the fact that the official is dealing with security documents without paying attention to detail and rather preoccupied with her cellular phone. To this end, we have commenced with disciplinary measures against the official and the three supervisors,” said the Director-General.



The ANC Veterans League calls on its members to mobilize society to come out in large numbers to register to vote for the next coming general elections.

The 2019 upcoming elections are critical to our country and indeed to our glorious movement. We readily admit that prior to the 54th conference of the ANC, the movement was clearly on a downward spiral, even sidelining those who dared to criticize its wayward behavior.

As veterans of the ANC, we are determined to protect the legacy of our movement so that it continues to contribute positively to the transformation of our society.

As veterans of the ANC we would like to encourage all members of the civil society especially the youth and the unemployed to register to vote.

Our new leadership has committed itself to rid the organization of factionalism, ill-discipline, arrogance and abuse of state power and resources.

Members of the executive who are dishonest to society and who live above their means will be made to account.

We are confident that the new leadership has taken the issue of the unemployment seriously, and that includes closing the credibility gap that existed prior the 54th conference, particularly amongst the youth.

To this end, we urge and encourage workers who supported our glorious movement with their blood, sweat and tears to come out in large numbers to check their voting status and encourage the youth to register to vote.

So, let us go out in our numbers to encourage our people to register to vote, for the sake of our country’s future, for the sake of our children’s future.

As veterans of the ANC we are always ready to serve.

Issued by the President of the ANC Veterans League

Snuki Zikalala

President Cyril Ramaphosa


South Africa joins the international community in observing International Women’s Day today, Thursday 8 March 2018, under the theme #PressforProgress.

International Women’s Day has been a global institution focused on equality for women since it was first observed by the Suffragettes in 1911.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to use International Women’s Day 2018 to decide what they can do in their personal lives, communities, businesses and organisations to advance all aspects of gender equality.

President Ramaphosa said South Africans should dedicate International Women’s Day 2018 to the memory of Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, whose centenary is being celebrated this year. She was a courageous leader both of the struggle for national liberation and of the struggle for gender emancipation.

“We have a responsibility to the memory of Ma Sisulu and to the many women who walked alongside her to intensify the struggle for gender equality in all areas of life.”

“We must work together to significantly improve the status of women – and especially young women – in the economy, ensuring that we achieve gender parity. Women must be equally represented in the workplace and must receive equal pay,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said society needs to tackle the economic and social factors that prevent young women from completing school and accessing further education. Government will strengthen the support it provides to women entrepreneurs and business people.

President Ramaphosa said the success of society’s efforts to grow the economy and create jobs will be measured in large part by the impact it has on the lives of South African women.

President Ramaphosa said: “South Africa has made great strides since the advent of democracy to advance and affirm women as part of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and united country.

“At the same time, we are confronted with the reality of women continuing to experience discrimination and disadvantage at home and in the workplace.

“The renewal off our country must entail a renewal of societal values that will position women and men alongside one another in a nation of equals. Patriarchy has no place in the South Africa we are building today.”

President Ramaphosa urges South Africans from all walks of life to join the global campaign, #PressforProgress, and play an active part in creating a better life for women in the country and around the world.

International Women's Day

Brand South Africa calls on all to play their part for the development and empowerment of women this International Women’s Day 8 March

This year, International Women’s Day is anchored on the global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice, in order for the world to recognise that the growth and development of any nation depends extensively on the empowerment of its women.

Numerous studies continue to show that countries that have expanded opportunities for women and girls in education and work in recent decades have  achieved greater prosperity and social development for their nations.

In South Africa, women constitute a large proportion of the economically challenged, especially  in the rural areas, and the National Development Plan (NDP) acknowledges this by taking gender – along with race and geographic location – into account through the

proposal of a range of measures that address this  inequality.  The NDP proposes that the transformation of the economy should involve the active participation and empowerment of women, and that the role of women as leaders in all sectors of society should be actively supported.

Hosted under the campaign theme #PressforProgress – this year International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to set in motion the transformation of empowering women in all settings, rural and urban, as well as to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer, Linda Magapatona-Sangaret said: “While pressing forward with strategic adjustments of economic structures and innovations of their sustainable growth models, South Africa remains cognisant that equal participation

in economic activities and equitable access to economic resources are the basic conditions for the well-being and development of women. Women are increasingly participating in the national development process, as they are essential for the achievement of

sustainable development. We at Brand South Africa call on all sectors of our society to spearhead the development and empowerment of women.”

Revered for their strength in building the family unit and homes, as well as their contributions to the community, society and the nation — this International Women’s Day Brand South Africa celebrates the acts of courage and determination by ordinary women

who continue to play an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for women’s rights.


The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba has, through the Director General, issued a directive to the Provincial Manager of the Department in the Eastern Cape to commence with processes to conduct an audit of enabling documents to affected community members who were part of the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry in Engcobo in the Eastern Cape.
According to the police, members of the Ministry were forbidden to have identity documents while children were not allowed to have birth certificates and prohibited from attending school.
Section 20 of the Constitution states that no citizen may be deprived of citizenship while Section 28 (1) (a) guarantees the right to a name and a nationality for every child from birth. To this end, without a birth certificate, any individual’s nationality cannot be affirmed, thus rendering them stateless.
Minister Gigaba has expressed his dismay at the wanton disregard of the law by those implicated in this injustice and has declared that government will not watch on the sidelines while people’s constitutional rights were being trampled on by those who sought to exploit vulnerable members of the society.
Of particular concern to me, is the exploitation of children and women whose rights have been blatantly disregarded by being denied their basic right; their sense of belonging; their birthright to identity. No individual has the authority to deny any citizen of our Republic their Constitutional right to identity through the imposition of their irrational beliefs.
In this regard, I have given an instruction to the Provincial Manager for Home Affairs in the Eastern Cape, through the Director-General, to visit the area and conduct an audit to determine the extent to which these vulnerable members of the society have been affected, with a view, of course, to begin the process of documenting them to ensure that they reflect on the National Population Registers said the Minister.

Brand South Africa

2018 JCI SADC Regional Leadership Academy

Brand South Africa has once again collaborated with the JCI African Academy to host the SADC Regional Leadership Conference which is targeted at young leaders who are creating positive changes in their communities.

Annually, the conference unites at least 1000 young active citizen from more than 50 partner countries to participate in inspirational sessions, impactful workshops, official General Assembly meetings and fun-filled events to share best practices, exchange ideas and determine the future of the dynamic organisation.

“Youth are an integral part in creating pathways for accelerated socio-economic development for our nation and our continent. As a big part of the population, young people are at the heart of our future, and it is for this reason, that we at Brand South Africa have partnered with the JCI African Academy to harness effective youth development practices. This platform affords us the opportunity to engage with the youth on how they can partake in social cohesion and active citizenship activities because we are confident that Africa’s destiny lies in the hands of our youth,” said Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela.

Brand South Africa invites media to join us for 2018 JCI SADC Regional Leadership Academy


FEDUSA Calls on President Ramaphosa to Intervene in Central Line Crisis

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene in the long running crisis at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)’s Central Line in Cape Town which for months now has seen thousands of working class commuters and FEDUSA members repeatedly arriving late at work or not arriving at all because the overcrowded trains were either running late or not running at all.

Over the preceding months, FEDUSA and its affiliate and majority union at Prasa, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) have respectfully and dutifully followed all the established channels of communicating their legitimate grievances starting with the Prasa reginal management structures, the provincial government structures and the national ministry of transport to no avail.

Promises to look into these serious grievances and assist timeously by instructing Prasa regional management to follow through with action on the ground have not been forthcoming and as a result of the crisis, crime has spilled into the Central Line with hundreds of commuters being robbed of their personal belongings at gunpoint, small children injured, women indecently assaulted and some workers have been dismissed from their jobs – in the context of a dire economic situation – as companies became increasingly lost patience with their late coming or failing to report for work on a repeated basis.

In light of the President’s recent and widely publicised critical to the national to look after their bodies by regularly walking around their neighbourhoods, places of work and schools and exercising regularly in general , FEDUSA calls upon the President to walk the talk by walking about the Cape Town Central Station and taking a ride to a working class suburb at peak hours to experience the crisis at first hand.

In a related development, UNTU has applauded the crucial move that has been taken by Prasa Acting Chief Executive Officer  Mthuthuzeli Swartz to dismiss Richard Walker from his position of its principal  regional executive in the Western Cape for his dithering about the Central Line crisis over the past 20 months.