29 October 2004The development of industry-specific black economic empowerment (BEE) charters in South Africa is an on-going process. However, charters have alread been developed for several sectors key sectors, including mining, the petroleum and martime sectors, tourism and financial services. Mining charter Petroleum and liquid fuels industry charter Maritime charter Tourism charter Financial services charter An empowerment framework for the country’s agricultural industry has also been launched, charters on BEE in the transport, construction and wine industries – as well as the tourism BEE scorecard – are due for completion by the end of 2004, and work has started on charters for the health and cosmetics sectors.Each charter is tailored to suit a particular industry, the charters generally stipulate a target of 25% black ownership over the next 10 years.“When we achieve that goal by 2014, we will have substantial levels of empowerment in the economy of about 25 to 30 percent”, Department of Trade and Industry director-general Lionel October said recently. “That is the critical mass one needs to create a non-racial and de-racialised economy which can grow on a sustainable basis.”Mining charterThe vision behind the country’s mining charter is to achieve a globally competitive mining industry that can benefit all South Africans. It is an important development in a sector historically dominated by white capital and profiting off the cheap labour provided by a disempowered black majority.The stated goal of the charter is to “create an industry that will proudly reflect the promise of a non-racial South Africa”. One of its key objectives is to achieve 26% ownership of mining companies by previously disadvantaged people within the next 10 years.The charter provides a framework to help mining companies comply with the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act, which obliges mining companies to promote black economic empowerment when applying for new mineral rights or converting current rights.A key component of the charter is the mining scorecard, which provides a framework for measuring the BEE process in the sector.The scorecard has three core elements: direct empowerment through ownership and control of enterprises and assets; human resource development and employment equity; and indirect empowerment through preferential procurement and enterprise development. Mining sector charterMining scorecardOverview of main pointsMineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act Financial sector charterThe financial charter has been developed by the sector as a whole, representing banks, insurers, black business, fund managers and brokerage firms.The charter is a voluntary commitment agreed on unanimously by 10 industry associations. Signatories to the charter believe it will be a key driver of sustainable growth, redressing social and economic inequities in the country and broadening the skills and asset base of the whole economy.The charter provides for significant increases in black ownership, management and skills development over the next 10 years. It emphasises the need for procuring services from black businesses in the sector and fostering new and developing BEE firms through joint ventures, skills transferral and infrastructural support.The charter constitutes a policy framework for the future development of the industry, and is expected to underpin sound business practices and maintain the strength and stability of the financial sector as a whole.In September 2004, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced the establishment of a 21-member council to review and monitor the implementation of the goals set out in the charter. Financial sector charterFinancial sector scorecardCouncil to monitor finance charter ICT CharterA working group formed by companies in SA’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector has released its final draft of an empowerment charter for the industry – and says the charter will come into force in late 2005.The charter takes into account extensive input from the country’s ICT community, and includes the much-anticipated targets for BEE in the sector. ICT industry finalises BEE charter Agriculture BEE frameworkAgriculture Minister Thoko Didiza launched an empowerment framework for South Africa’s agricultural industry in July 2004.The AgriBEE framework document addresses issues unique to agriculture, including land reform, seeking to deracialise land ownership and control in SA and to develop initiatives to help black South Africans to own, establish, or participate in agricultural enterprises.The framework proposes various targets, including 30% black ownership of agricultural land by 2014, as well as making a further 20% of agricultural land available to black people through leaseholds.“We also propose that an amount of land be made available for use by farm workers in order to address issues of poverty alleviation as well as creating opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprise development within this sector”, the minister said.A steering committee will be set up to consult and share information about the framework, and to present a final report to the government by November 2004. AgriBEE framework for agriculture Transport, construction, wine, tourism, health, cosmeticsThe Department of Trade and Industry says that charters on black economic empowerment in South Africa’s transport, construction, and wine industries are due for completion by the end of 2004, while work has started on charters for other industries, including the health and cosmetics sectors.“We hope to have one overall charter for the health industry, which encompasses the pharmaceutical sector, care providers and retail”, DTI director-general Lionel October said, adding that BEE in the health sector would seek to ensure expanded access to quality health care for both the public and private sectors.In May, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said his department would finalise its BEE scorecard for SA’s tourism industry by the end of 2004. Charter to improve healthcareCharter for construction industryBEE plan for cosmetics sector SouthAfrica.info reporter
9 December 2011Over 8 500 solar geysers were installed across South Africa during the two-week UN climate summit (COP 17), surpassing the initial target of 8 000, says Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.Another major success of the campaign was recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, where more than 500 systems were installed in households since the start of the climate conference, thanks to pledges made by individuals and companies.At the start of the conference last week, the Department of Economic Development, the Industrial Development Cooperation and Eskom invited the public and business to pledge towards the solar geyser campaign.The initiative raised R685 000 to install 510 solar water heaters in Groutville, north of the city.“This is a resounding success, it shows the opportunities that are there in the green economy, and I think COP 17 has brought about a new thinking amongst many of us in terms of our approach to the green economy,” Patel said.“With the contribution from companies, unions and individuals we can step up the rate of installation and show the value of broader solidarity across society to grow jobs and improve the lives of our people.”To date, the total number of solar geysers installed throughout the country is estimated at 211 000, with additional funding from Eskom’s rebates system for solar water heaters.Patel said it was important that South Africa take full advantage of the continent’s hot temperatures and, in the process, relieve pressure on the national electricity grid.The campaign would also ensure that government met its job creation target of 300 000 new jobs in the green economy.Source: BuaNews
The US online paid-for streaming service of TV shows and movies, Netflix, has launched in 130 countries, including South Africa. It’ll now be easier for signed-up members to watch what they want, when they want, where they want, on any internet enabled device.Co-founder and chief executive Co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings launches Netflix in 130 countries, including South Africa on 6 January. (Image: Netflix) launches Netflix in 130 countries, including South Africa on 6 January. (Image: Netflix)Priya PitamberThe days of being restricted to a television set to watch your favourite show are dwindling. Online streaming of series and movies is a fast-growing industry and one if its leaders, Netflix, expanded its reach to an additional 130 countries, including South Africa, on 6 January.The paid for service, which started in 2007 in the US, has since expanded across the world.“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global internet TV network,” said co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings at the launch in Las Vegas.“With this launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously – no more waiting. With the help of the internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”How it worksUsers first sign up and then can choose packages starting from $7.99 (about R134 at the current exchange rate). Internet costs are separate and depend on individual packages and service providers.Netflix is available on virtually any device that has an internet connection, including personal computers, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and gaming consoles. It automatically provides the best possible streaming quality based on available bandwidth.Many titles, including Netflix original series and films, are available in high-definition with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound; and some are available in Ultra HD.What you can watchOnce signed up, members around the world can watch Netflix original series, including Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Narcos, Sense8, Grace and Frankie, and Marco Polo, as well as a catalogue of licensed TV shows and movies.“In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids series – available at the same time to members everywhere,” the company said.Continued expansionWhile largely available in English, Netflix has added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.“From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings. “We’re looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world.”The service is not available in Crimea, North Korea and Syria because of American government restrictions on American companies.South African social media users took to Twitter to express their excitement about the launch.Welcome to South Africa @netflix Our bodies are ready! pic.twitter.com/7f1jppsahl— Anne Hirsch (@Anne_Hirsch) January 6, 2016Okay now that @netflix is officially in South Africa, I suggest we all celebrate by watching @JessicaJones — Caryn Welby-Solomon (@carrieanne07) January 6, 2016The competitionNaspers, the international media company based in South Africa, launched the local online streaming service, Showmax, in 2015. It charges a R99 a month subscription fee. Showmax offers a seven-day free trial, while Netflix offers a month trial period.Source: NetflixWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Playing down the rift between the Congress and the NCP over the ‘number two’ slot in the government, Defence Minister A. K Antony said in Mumbai on Saturday that there was no hierarchy in the Union Cabinet.Antony was in the city for the commissioning of new stealth frigate INS Sahayadri for the Indian navy. His comments came amid reports that NCP boss and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is sulking after Antony was promoted to the number 2 slot following Pranab Mukherjee’s exit.When asked who was senior in the Cabinet, Antony said: “There is no junior or senior cabinet minister. All are equal.”