‘Remarkable’ South Africa still has work to do

first_img5 November 2013As South Africa prepares to celebrate 20 years of democracy next year, it can look back at the “remarkable” progress it has made since 1994 with a large degree of satisfaction, US bank Goldman Sachs says in a comprehensive report on the country that was released on Monday.South Africa’s economy has been solid and has performed well in the two decades since the end of apartheid – although unemployment remains its biggest challenge, the bank says.Goldman Sachs rates social welfare support for South Africa’s poorest 16-million people as the greatest achievement of the African National Congress (ANC) government so far.“It’s quite remarkable when you look back at 1994,” the bank’s Colin Coleman told CNBC Africa in an interview on Monday. “We had a bankrupt state, a junk investment grade status credit rating, a very small economy, and we had some very worrying fiscal ratios.“The fiscal, monetary authorities and the government as a whole have done a tremendous job in turning that around,” Coleman said. “Today we’ve 3.3% growth rate through that 19-year period, we have a $400-billion economy, [and] a very deep financial market. We [also] have a significant rise in the consumer environment.”The report, titled “Two Decades of Freedom: What South Africa is Doing With It, and What Now Needs to be Done”, highlights the country’s economic and social milestones since 1994, as well as the challenges that remain to be tackled.Click to enlargeProgressThe report identifies where South Africa has made decisive structural advances. These include:Macro fiscal and monetary balances have improved:Gross domestic product (GDP) has almost tripled from $136-billion to $385- billion.Inflation has fallen from an average of 14% between 1980 and 1994 to an average of 6% between 1994 and 2012.Gross gold and foreign reserves have risen from $3-billion in 1994 to $50-billion.Tax receipts of R114-billion from 1.7-million people has risen to R814-billion from 13.7 million people.The increase in trade with China and Africa has largely offset the decline in European trade.There has been a dramatic rise in the middle class in the past decade, leading to a structural boost in spending. Around 4.5-million consumers have graduated from the lower living standards measures (LSMs) of 1-4, and 10-million consumers have joined the middle to higher LSMs of 5-10.The beneficiaries of social grants has risen from 2.4-million to 16.1-million.Per unit labour productivity has improved.ChallengesUnemployment and inequality remain South Africa’s biggest hurdles:Unemployment remains stagnant at 25% from 23% inherited in 1994.70% of the unemployed are young people, aged between 15 and 34.85% of Africans remain in the lower income categories, while 87% of white people remain in the middle- to upper-class categories.The current account deficit remains high at 6.5%.The volatility of equity and bond flows between 1995 and mid-2007 demonstrate the vulnerability of South Africa if it relies on these flows as a major source of finance. The report estimates that a correction equivalent to around 2% of GDP is required to remove the vulnerability and to restore the external balance.Poor savings rate and high consumer indebtedness: Household debt to disposable income has soared from 57% in 1994 to 76%.The contribution of mining and manufacturing to GDP has fallen to 23% from 38% in 1986.The mining and labour uncertainties are unsettling the market.Poor education and health outcomes, and an underperforming public sector.Infrastructure.Computer and internet access; research and development; patents.Sovereign credit ratings under pressure.OpportunitiesGoldman Sachs outlines key areas that it believes South Africa should address to better enhance growth, attract investors and generally be a better place.These include a special focus on the unemployed and unemployable youth and a labour pact for sustainable growth and employment; reaching balanced wage/productivity growth; defending the rise of the African middle class; building economic linkages with Africa; and creating visible economic wins from BRICS.The report suggests that in the next 20-year period South Africa should aim to raise its annual growth rate to 5%, which would grow the economy to $1-trillion by 2030.If achieved, such growth would cut the unemployment rate and the debt-to-GDP ratio in half and double the GDP per capita.What is needed above all, Coleman wrote in Business Day on Monday, is a “Team SA” response: “South Africa knows what needs to be done. Endless policy debates deflect from picking the ‘low-hanging fruit’.“We have the people, the talent, the institutions and the capital to do it,” Coleman wrote. “Now we need to raise our game. Now is the time for ‘execution excellence’. Business, labour, the government and civil society need, individually and collectively, to act, to partner and to get the basics right.“Nelson Mandela’s dream and the lives of 52-million South Africans depend on it.”Download the report: Two Decades of Freedom [PDF]SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Ind vs Eng: Zaheer has hamstring strain but extent of injury not known

first_imgIn what would come as a massive blow to the Indian cricket team, pace spearhead Zaheer Khan’s leg injury has turned out to be a hamstring strain but it is not yet known how serious the problem is.Team manager Anirudh Choudhary declared at the press briefing on Thursday night that Zaheer was suffering from “strain in the hamstring”.”Zaheer is being looked after by the medical team and is being investigated. He strained his hamstring and the extent of his injury can only be declared on Thursday,” stated Choudhary.After Zaheer left the field in his 14th over on the first morning yesterday, and the manager cut the phone off on being asked about his fitness, the word emerged from a few players that it was only cramps.It was later revealed as a “sprain in hamstring” by the manager.In all likelihood, Zaheer would be a passenger at least in the first innings since it’s his right foot, the landing foot which bears the most strain for a fast bowler.The medical reports are being awaited but if Zaheer is ruled out, it would be a major blow to India’s hopes, not only in this Test but also in the rest of the series.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

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Barcelona to report Malaga president’s offensive tweet

first_imgSpanish giants Barcelona will report Malaga president Abdullah Al-Thani to the nation’s football governing body and La Liga authorities over comments he made about the club on social media, the league leaders have said.Al-Thani reportedly made offensive remarks about Barcelona on Twitter after a fan asked about Malaga’s upcoming game against title contenders Real Madrid.Barcelona expressed its “rejection and indignation” of the tweet which, the club said, “infringes upon the principles of fair play, and the ethical and legal precepts that must govern sporting competition.””The Club, therefore, will report this case to the National Sports Council’s Anti-Violence Committee, and will bring the matter before the Royal Spanish Football Federation’s Competition Committee, as well as the Department of Integrity of La Liga.”Barcelona are top of the league table, level on points with rivals Real Madrid, having played one game more.last_img read more

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Open Letter to the Global Fund Board on MNCH

first_imgPosted on December 14, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Written by: Tim Thomas, Senior Advisor, MHTFOver the past 12-18 months, a dedicated group of advocates have been pushing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria to expand its mandate to include maternal, newborn and child health programs. (The Global Fund was created in 2001 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to galvanize and coordinate global funding for HIV/AIDS and two of its major co-infections.) The movement to add MNCH to the Fund’s thus far successful vertical programming will face a deciding moment at the upcoming Global Fund Board Meeting being held in Sofia, Bulgaria today through Wednesday. The Board has received the following letter showing broad popular support for the shift and they will be discussing if and how to implement it. We will be tracking the progress of this movement and reporting more here. Stay tuned!Read the letterShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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2 days agoMaguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocol

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Maguire reveals Man Utd talks over UEFA racism protocolby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Maguire says Manchester United have spoken about the UEFA racial abuse protocol ahead of Thursday’s clash with Partizan Belgrade.The Serbian giants played their last two European home games behind closed doors after racist abuse by supporters.”We will trust Uefa to follow their protocol,” Maguire said.”Sofia was a sickening atmosphere, something I don’t want to be part of again.”We’re positive tomorrow night will be a great atmosphere, one we’re all looking forward to playing in.”If something does goes off, then we’ll follow the three-step protocol and I’m sure there will be people on and off the pitch doing their bit to make things better for the future.” last_img read more

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Nvidia Nordstrom fall PGE Sprint rise

first_imgNEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday:Nvidia Corp., down $37.96 to $164.43The chipmaker said it had a large number of unsold chips because of a big drop in mining of cryptocurrencies.Nordstrom Inc., down $8.06 to $50.93The department store retailer issued weak guidance for the full year.PG&E Corp., up $6.66 to $24.40Remarks by the head of California’s utility regulator reassured investors that the financial hit from the state’s wildfires could be limited.Williams-Sonoma Inc., down $6.80 to $53.76The cookware seller said products were delayed because of shipping congestion out of China ahead of U.S. tariffs.Intel Corp., up 72 cents to $48.83The company announced a $15 billion increase to its stock buyback authorization.Shoe Carnival Inc., up $2.78 to $39.87The company reported earnings that were much higher than analysts were forecasting.Sprint Corp., up 19 cents to $6.31Reuters reported that the chief financial officer of T-Mobile said its acquisition of Sprint could close early next year.Exxon Mobil Corp., up 77 cents to $78.96Share in energy companies rose along with the rice of U.S. crude oil.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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If Modi is reelected he will change India into totalitarian regime Mamata

first_imgMathabhanga (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power, he would throw away the Constitution and change the country from a democracy to a totalitarian regime. Modi has three slogans “loot”, “riots” and “kill the people”, she said at a rally in Cooch Behar. Claiming that it was the TMC government which solved the six decade-old enclave issue with Bangladesh in 2015, Banerjee said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was an attempt by the BJP to turn legal citizens of the country into refugees. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “We (TMC) will never allow NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Bengal. Modi is no one to decide who will stay and leave the country. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is another ploy to turn legal citizens of this country into refugees. We should be careful of their (BJP’s) sinister plot,” she said. Mocking Modi for his ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign, the chief minister said the ‘chaiwallah’ (tea seller) who failed to fulfil promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls has now turned into a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) to fool people.last_img read more

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Punjab National Bank appoints Rajesh Yaduvanshi as new executive director

first_imgNew Delhi: Punjab National Bank (PNB) Tuesday said it has appointed Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi as the Executive Director of the bank with effect from April 15.Yaduvanshi brings with him a diversified experience of over 3 decades in the banking industry, having held senior positions in the banking sector both in India and abroad, the bank said. He has also worked with Dena Bank in capacity of the Executive Director. Yadivanshi, having 34 years of banking career, had joined PNB as a management trainee in 1985. He holds a doctorate in science from lndian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and has over and is also a certified associate member of lndian lnstitute of Bankers. With his joining, PNB now has three Executive Directors, the others being L V Prabhakar and A K Azad.last_img read more

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Sweeping electoral reforms needed to end malpractices Hazare

first_imgRalegan Siddh: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has called for large-scale electoral reforms in the country to remove poll-related malpractices and to cleanse the system. The 81-year-old activist lamented that lack of awareness among voters and focus of political parties on winning the elections by hook or crook has led to degeneration of politics, and he saw no bright future for the country if the situation continued. Talking to PTI at his native village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Hazare said voters were one of the pillars of the democracy. “But looking at the reports of cash seizure from various places during the electioneering, one wonders why voters take money to vote. Is this the value of our freedom fighters, who gave us independence?” he asked. Hazare felt that the parties’ approach of coming to power by hook or crook has resulted in criminalisation of politics. “The sanctity of Parliament and state assemblies have come under threat,” he said. The octogenarian said he believed in the Constitution of India, in which there was no mention of election symbols and political parties. “Any individual who is above the age of 25 can contest elections. For the last six years, I am in correspondence with the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking removal of election symbols. The Constitution of India recognises only individuals,” he said. The veteran Gandhian said using the sacrifices of martyrs for seeking votes was saddening. “When the trend is to do anything to come to power, such misuse is seen and voters are sleeping,” he said. He expressed sadness over not getting any response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his 32 letters written on a range of issues. He said the appointment of Lokpal recently done by the Centre was not up to his expectations. “But, I am confident that it will put a break on corrupt practices,” Hazare added. He said he will vote on April 23, as Ahmednagar goes to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra. “I will vote for the correct candidate or exercise the NOTA (none of the above) option,” he said. To a question whether he was following the Lok Sabha election campaign, the activist said, “Society does not remain the focal point in politics. The only motto is to get money through power and power through money.” Hazare said instead of the election symbols, names of candidates and their photos should be enough for voting. “In 1952, when the first (general) elections were held (in India), printing technology was not advanced and hence symbols were used. But now, you do not need symbols. This will curb the entry of undesirable people in the law-making bodies,” he said. If the system of symbols is done away, people with good image and proven track record will get elected, he opined.last_img read more

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Ohio State womens ice hockey takes improved defense to St Cloud State

Then-freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve (32) defends the net during a game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 11 at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU lost 3-0. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s ice hockey team (5-7-0) recorded its first series split of season last weekend against the University of North Dakota. Now, the Buckeyes are preparing to head back on the road to St. Cloud, Minnesota, for a two-game series against St. Cloud State.Despite dropping three of its last four contests, the team believes it is playing with greater confidence than earlier in the season.“We’re definitely starting to find our identity a little more. We’ve been putting in a lot of work,” senior forward Kendall Curtis said. “We’re figuring out who we are as a team, and we know we can grind and come back from any deficit.”Against St. Cloud State (4-7-1), losers of two straight, the Buckeyes have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the teams behind them in the conference. The Huskies enter this weekend one point behind OSU for fifth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings.Internal improvementThe team’s mantra all season has been to focus on getting better each week independent of whom it plays. However, the Buckeyes recognize that this week is different, as they’re facing the team currently nipping at their heels.“We haven’t really talked much about St. Cloud, but we know that they have a similar record to us so this is an important weekend to get some points,” freshman forward Maddy Field said.For Field, who is tied for second on the team in goals scored, her contribution to the team improving has been to help shore up the team’s defense, which has allowed only eight goals in the last six games since allowing 18 goals in two games to Minnesota.“The coaches have definitely told me to be focusing on my defensive side and that the goals will come after,” Field said.OSU coach Jenny Potter, who will return to her home state of Minnesota for the first time as a Buckeye this weekend, said she is pleased with her squad’s development at this point of the season before an important series.“Our team has, in my opinion, improved every week,” Potter said. “Just getting better and better and learning every week from each other and the opponents we play.”Becoming a threatCurtis said she believes that the team’s overall improved play is attributed to a better grasp on its team concept.“Our systems are really coming more for us now, we’re not really focusing on it as much in practice,” Curtis said. “We’re focusing on coming together, taking that next step, not just systems, becoming a team that’s always a threat.”OSU’s renewed sense of confidence is aided by the time it spends working on its game, not the opponent’s.“I’m not too worried about other teams,” Potter said. “Obviously we’ve got to know their strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly you’ve got to know your strengths and play your game.”Their game looks to be continued stalwart defense and stiff competition as the Buckeyes continue to adjust under Potter in her first year as OSU’s coach.“It’s not good enough to be able to outwork teams anymore. We did a lot of that early this season,” Curtis said. “We were outworking teams, but the outcome wasn’t there and now we’re getting to the point where that’s not quite good enough.”Potter’s holistic approach to coaching will continue to guide the team as it continues to look to make noise against its remaining conference opponents.“We’re fortunate that we play in the best league in the country and never get to take an off-weekend,” Potter said.The Buckeyes are set to drop the puck against the Huskies at 4:07 p.m. on Friday and 2:37 p.m. on Saturday. read more

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