Global Cocoa Sector Meets in Côte d’Ivoire to Explore New Directions for Sustainability Efforts

$12 Million Regional Initiative Announced by Industry & U.S. Government First CocoaAction Annual Report Released ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 500 representatives of the global chocolate and cocoa sector, including farmers, have gathered in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa, to address critical sustainability issues confronting the crop, which is […]

Le Secteur Mondial du Cacao se Rencontre en Côte d’Ivoire Pour Explorer de nouvelles Orientations pour les Efforts de Durabilité

Une Initiative Régionale d’un montant de 12 Million $ annoncée par l’Industrie et le Gouvernement Américain Sortie du Premier Rapport Annuel de CocoaAction ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 Octobre 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Près de 500 représentants au niveau mondial du secteur du chocolat et du cacao, y compris des producteurs, se sont réunis en Côte d’Ivoire, […]

Limpopo Education hands over Reading Trolley and Reading Corner, 27 Oct

Last year the Minister of Education launched a reading campaign. The campaign was to encourage the community of South Africa to be a reading nation. Events were held in different parts of the province and involved churches, libraries, traditional leadership and schools.

It is imperative to teach children reading at early ages. The Limpopo Department of Education will hand-over the Reading Trolley and the Reading Corners with over 1000 books to two schools in Limpopo Province. The Trolley and the Corners are donated by the MacMillan Education Company.

The Reading Trolley with 350 books can be moved from one grade to the other as the books are meant for foundation levels (Grade 1 � 3). While one school received the Trolley the other one received the Reading Corners. Reading Corner for Grade R has 40 books, grade 1 with 90, Grade 2 with 120 while grade 3 has 140 graded books.

Source: Government of South Africa

Inflation forecast to dip to 6.4%

Cape Town � South Africa’s inflation has been forecast to dip to 6.4% for the remainder of 2016, National Treasury said on Wednesday.

This comes after the Consumer Price Index (CPI) breached the upper limit of the 3% to 6% target band in the first half of 2016, mainly as a result of higher petrol and food prices.

Core inflation remained relatively flat and within the target band. In response to higher inflation and rising inflation expectations, the Reserve Bank has raised the rate at which it lends to commercial banks by 0.75 percentage points since January 1.

The inflation forecast has been revised down to 6.4% for 2016 due to lower-than-expected electricity and import-price inflation. A further decline to 6.1 percent is expected in 2017.

Inflation is expected to stay within the target band in 2018 and 2019.

National Treasury said electricity price increases are forecast to average 9.1% per year over the period, with food inflation stabilising at 5.4% in the outer years.

Rising unit labour costs, higher import-price inflation and inflation expectations are upside risks to the forecast.

According to a Bureau for Economic Research survey, inflation expectations have consistently hovered around the high end of the target band over the past five years, feeding into wage demands and price increases.

The Andrew Levy wage settlement survey for the first half of 2016 shows an average wage increase of 7.7%, marginally lower than 7.8% in the first half of 2015, National Treasury said.

Households spending less

National Treasury said the growth in household spending decelerated to 0.8% in the first half of the year, from 1.7% in the same period in 2015.

It also said that growth in real household disposable income, which reached 2.2% in 2015, slowed to an annualised 0.7% in the first half of the year.

Household net wealth fell to 386% of disposable income in the second quarter of 2016, compared with 391% a year earlier.

In the first seven months of 2016, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange All Share Index was 1.7 percent lower than the corresponding period in 2015, reducing household wealth, said National Treasury.

National Treasury said consumer confidence remains low and higher inflation has reduced household purchasing power.

Spending on durable goods has declined since the first quarter of 2015.

Credit extended to households remains subdued, as higher interest rates and tighter lending conditions discourage borrowing.

In the second quarter of 2016, applications for credit fell by 18%, while the rejection rate remained relatively high, at 54.4%.

The ratio of household debt to disposable income has eased to 75.1% of total disposable income from 77% a year before, but higher interest rates have raised pressure on discretionary spending.

Household consumption expenditure is projected to rise by 0.6% in 2016, gradually rising to 2.3% in 2019, supported by lower inflation, wage growth and improved household balance sheets, said National Treasury.

Source: South African Government News Agency

R553m allocated towards drought relief

Cape Town � Government will over the next three years provide an additional R553.3 million towards drought relief efforts, National Treasury said on Wednesday.

As dam levels remain at lower levels compared to the same period last year, National Treasury said the funding will assist those affected, especially farmers, to get more water and animal feed.

The 2016 Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure allocates a further R553.3 million for the acquisition of a mobile desalination plant and animal feed, ahead of rains expected later in the year.

National Treasury also said in line with the aims of maximising agriculture’s contribution to jobs and growth, and more efficient use of public resources, several government departments are working to improve coordination of farmer support programmes.

This, National Treasury said in its Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, will eliminate existing overlaps and double-dipping of funding from the agriculture and rural development departments.

National and provincial government reprioritised R1.6 billion towards emergency funding for drought-relief initiatives between April 2015 and June 2016. The funding was used to provide water-tankering services and animal feed, and to refurbish and drill boreholes.

Meanwhile, National Treasury said over the next three years, the agri-parks initiative will be rolled out.

These parks are intended to help small farmers with production, processing, logistics, marketing and training within district municipalities.

They are expected to contribute to rural job creation.

National Research Foundation to fund more Masters’ students

National Treasury said the Department of Science will over the period ahead focus on increasing research and development.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will perform relevant research, strengthen the skills base, and transfer skills and technology.

Each year the CSIR will fund research that will result in at least 25 new technology demonstrators and 15 new patents.

National Research Foundation funds will increase the number of masters students supported to 5 350 per year over the three-year period.

Meanwhile, National Treasury said government will establish the Waste Bureau, which will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of industry waste management plans.

This will include managing and disbursing revenue collected from waste management charges, and putting in place a new institutional arrangement to manage the recycling of tyres and associated revenue collection.

Source: South African Government News Agency