16 of 2023

Newsletter No 16/28 April 2023                              


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Enoch Godongwana: SA’s economic reforms will fuel an accelerated pace of investment

Finance minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

President Ramaphosa’s vision for reshaping the economy and critical reforms attract local and international investors to SA, paving the way for sustained growth and development

The pace of investment in SA is accelerating as a growing number of international and local investors are recognising the opportunities created by critical reforms initiated by government.

At the core of this is the Economic Reconstruction & Recovery Plan (ERRP), launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in late 2020, which set out a vision to reshape the economic landscape in the wake of the global pandemic.

The growth plan is driven by huge investment in infrastructure, especially in the core network industries of energy, telecommunications, port and rail. This is bolstered by decisive changes to the regulatory environment and proactive steps to create an efficient state that is committed to clean government.

The success that has already been achieved will be highlighted at this week’s SA Investment Conference 2023, where participants will not only take stock of the use of funds pledged during the previous five years, but also set new targets for the time ahead. Already, government has indicated that it will raise its initial target of R1.2-trillion to R2-trillion worth of investments over the next five-year period.

SA’s recovery and reconstruction 

The ERRP identifies priority interventions, which will ignite SA’s recovery and reconstruction efforts. The objective is to create enabling conditions for growth, which contributes to an inclusive, competitive and thriving economy. It sets a broad macroeconomic framework and creates institutional arrangements that ensure implementation and accountability.

From an investor’s perspective, the ERRP clearly defines the areas that should attract funding, and which attracted the widest interest from participants at the previous SA investment conferences.

There is a strong focus on infrastructure, particularly in the energy, transport and water sectors. This is in line with the broader national infrastructure plan that was launched before the arrival of the pandemic. The aim is to improve the country’s economic competitiveness by addressing infrastructure gaps that have long hampered growth.

An infrastructure fund was established with R100bn of seed money over a 10-year period to leverage blended financing from private investors and multilateral banks. Investment SA was established as a single point of entry for infrastructure planning, management and delivery.

A second focus of the ERRP is to drive industrialisation through localisation. It seeks to improve the efficiency of local producers and develop export competitive sectors that can expand the sales of locally made products on the rest of the African continent and beyond.

This initiative is supported through sectoral master plans in key strategic industries such as steel production, the automotive sector, clothing and textiles. Localisation is seen as a catalyst for innovation and a key driver of SA’s economic recovery.

The ERRP recognises that the country will not achieve long-term gains unless it is underpinned by a range of policy actions designed to create the enabling conditions for sustained economic growth.

Far-reaching policy and regulatory reforms will unlock greater investment, lower the barriers of entry and increase competition, which will inevitably lead to a more diversified economy.

This also requires a radical overhaul of the network industries through the streamlining of policies and regulation and the repurposing of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). These processes are gathering momentum and some results are already visible in the steps to unbundle the power utility, Eskom, scrap the restrictions on private sector power generation, overhaul the efficiency of the country’s ports, and introduce a comprehensive “road to rail” strategy for the transportation of freight.

The recent auctioning of high-demand spectrum was seen as a game-changer that will lower communications costs, improve network quality and expand its reach into rural and outlying areas.

This will have a significant knock-on effect in the digital infrastructure space and lead to increased investments in telecommunications and a reduction in market concentration.

High-impact reforms

The implementation of the ERRP is buttressed by Operation Vulindlela, a unit located jointly in the presidency and National Treasury. The aim of this initiative is to fast-track the implementation of high-impact reforms, eliminate bureaucratic or regulatory obstacles and ensure delivery on policy commitments.

It recognises that lower costs and greater efficiency increase the competitiveness of the economy and create new opportunities for investment. These reforms will place SA on a new trajectory of high and sustained growth.

In the first year since its establishment, Operation Vulindlela has identified 19 priority areas for reform. Among its early achievements are the opening up of the electricity-generation sector for private investment, reforming the application system for water-use licences and clearing the way for the private sector to invest in container terminals at the country’s harbours.

An updated critical skills list was published, and the work visa system is being overhauled to remove another barrier that inhibited the country’s ability to attract skills and investments in the past.

These reforms are rooted in a macroeconomic framework that is stable, clear and predictable. Since the launch of the ERRP, government has reached out to all sectors of society and critical players in the economy to reach consensus on common goals for rapid and sustained growth.

The positive responses that were received from investors have strengthened the implementation of the plan and will continue to modernise the economy through investments in projects, skills and technology.   BL

• Godongwana is minister of finance.

Index Design Award Winner – Fiberpartner

Fiberpartner are thrilled to announce that we are the proud winners of this year’s Index Design Award for our BicoBio fiber! This cutting-edge fiber was developed in collaboration with FENC (Taiwan), and we couldn’t be more honored to receive this recognition.

BicoBio is a biobased PE and recycled PET fiber that is infused with PrimaLoft® Bio™ technology.

This innovative fiber is designed to biodegrade in various environments, including ocean water, wastewater, landfills, and soil and has been developed as a solution to growing environmental concerns.

This future proof bicomponent fiber, developed from materials with a low carbon footprint, is biodegradable*, and will return to materials found in nature *.

  • The BioBased PE is produced from sugar cane and has a negative carbon footprint
  • The Recycled PET is GRS certified
  • PrimaLoft® Bio™ ensures PE & PET to return to materials found in nature*

The fibers are available from 1,5 – 3 deniers and is available in short cut for airlaid as well as longer cutting lengths for carded applications such as air through for hygiene applications, e.g. top sheet, as well as industrial applications for insulation. It is engineered to bond to both synthetic and natural fibers.

The performance and durability of the fibers are virtually the same as regular virgin based materials: little or no adjustments needed in the process.

The new innovative fiber is a joint development of FENC in Taiwan & Fiberpartner in Denmark.

PrimaLoft® Bio™

Fiberpartner can offer all PET and Recycled PET fibers using this technology.

PrimaLoft® Bio™ is an additive technology that enables polyester and nonwoven fibers to biodegrade* in the environment. A revolutionary breakthrough that offers a previously unattainable level of performance and climate footprint, reducing microplastics in our landfills and oceans,

PrimaLoft® Bio™ is a first-of-its-kind technology and represents a critical component to a product’s lifecycle – a safety net should the product shed during laundering or end up in a landfill. It is simply designed to return to materials found in nature.

PrimaLoft® Bio™ has been specifically designed to biodegrade*
in the environments where the vast majority of plastics eventually find themselves: landfills and ocean water. According to independent testing, PrimaLoft® Bio™ reached 93.8% biodegradation* in 646 days when exposed to an accelerated landfill environment. At the conclusion of this test, the remaining material was found to contain no trace of plastic, leaving behind only natural, carbon based elements! And what is even better, additional independent testing concluded that the soil left behind remains perfectly suitable for plant growth.

PrimaLoft® Bio™ biodegrades* only by hydrolytic-degradation, the destruction of plastics by hydrolysis exposure to moisture under certain conditions, which results in the scission of molecular bonds, and PrimaLoft® Bio™ will eventually leave no traces of microplastic behind.

Fiberpartner are well established in South Africa and supply Virgin and Recycled PET fibers including low melt / bico, microfibre, HCS, HC and solid fibres.

Please contact Earl Valentine for any information – eav@fiberpartner.com – +27 72 576 5294

Luxury womenswear designer wins 2023 Mr Price New Talent Search

Local luxury womenswear designer Cyla Gonsolves was named the Mr Price New Talent Search winner at South African Fashion Week, hosted in Johannesburg.

Mr Price is the fashion retail partner of SA Fashion Week, and also the sponsor of the New Talent Search and Scouting Menswear Competition shows, which are geared towards launching the careers of up-and-coming designers.

As the 2023 Mr Price New Talent Search winner, Gonsolve will take home R50,000 to continue growing her design studio based on her Western Cape farm and she receives a week-long mentorship programme learning the full retail cycle at Mr Price head office. Furthermore, she’ll begin designing her limited-edition range bringing together her signature elegant aesthetic with her love for handcrafted details to launch in selected Mr Price stores later this year.

Winning work

Gonsolve’s winning fashion range takes inspiration from nature and female empowerment, and incorporates her love for reducing, reusing and recycling materials, like the standout pressed florals grown from her own garden in Porterville. This inspiration translated into an impeccably tailored and whimsical collection of languid day dresses, cosy knits and contemporary blouses.

“I still can’t believe that I’m the New Talent Search winner. This whole experience has been breathtaking, exhausting and exciting. To all the up-and-coming designers looking to enter, just do it. Enter competitions, apply for internships and learn as much as you can in this industry,” Consolves commented.

Kevin Smit, managing director of Mr Price, commented, “The standard of this year’s New Talent Search is a testament to the dynamic and innovative nature of South African design. From reimagined use of textiles, to fabrics rich with colour and heritage, all the finalists should be proud of the designs they showcased down the runway.

“Cyla’s ability to conceptualise and bring her vision to life in a fresh and unexpected way really stood out and we are so excited to welcome her into the family and support her journey as this year’s winner.”

All eyes will now be on the next generation of menswear designers as preparations for the Scouting Menswear show in October 2023 begin.  Bizcommunity

The skirt is the second-oldest garment, with only loin cloths predating it. Oh, and up until the 1600-1700s, men and women both wore them


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