Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (19 June)

SA Government Increases Black Ownership Targets In Mining Industry, Seedstars Picks the 2017 Mozambique Winner and Announces Regional Summit In Mozambique, and more


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SA Government Increases Black Ownership Targets In Mining Industry

South Africa’s mining houses will have to raise their black ownership to 30 percent in terms of new targets set in the 2017 Mining Charter as announced by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane last week.

"A new mining right must have 30 percent black persons’ shareholding with the 30 percent shareholding to be apportioned between employees, communities and entrepreneurs in a specific manner," Zwane told reporters in Pretoria.

Those applying for new prospecting rights will need to have even higher targets for black shareholding, with very strict conditions.

"The 2017 charter requires that a new prospecting right must have a minimum of 50 percent plus one black person shareholding, which must include voting rights," said Zwane

Rights holders which have complied with the previous target of 26 percent have to "top up" to 30 percent within 12 months.

Zwane said it was important that mining communities and mineworkers benefited from the charter.

"The stability of the mining sector is largely dependent on workers, who play a crucial role in its development. Stability cannot exist whilst the conditions of workers remain inadequate," he said.

"We have taken to heart the plight of our people from host communities and from labour-sending areas. An eight percent shareholding is allocated to mine communities, to be held through a trust." (via African News Agency)

Seedstars Picks the 2017 Mozambique Winner and Announces Regional Summit In Mozambique 

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its Mozambique round to a successful close during Seedstars Maputo. 

Mozambican mobile insurance startup Tabech and their product Móvelcare were selected as the best startup in Mozambique for their adjective solution.

As a part of the prize, Móvelcare will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other +75 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 500,000 equity investment.

Karingana Wa Karingana Textiles, a platform aiming to revolutionize the African textile market by offering brands customized prints produced on demand, came second and Alltrack, a cross-platform tracking software that allows you to control your car and prevents it from being stolen, grabbed the last spot in the top three.

The other startups invited to pitch were Supevy, CrimeDown, Dream Solutions Enterprise, Fakul, Kharin Lda, Olenvo, LavaMe, Side, and Tech4Kids Academy.

Minister Gigaba Announces Ministerial Meeting On Economy, Says Fiscal Consolidation Will Stay

President Jacob Zuma has called a meeting of key ministers in a fortnight to devise a strategy to spur the South African economy out of recession, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said last week.

"The president has stressed the urgency of a co-ordinated response, and is convening a full-day meeting in two weeks of various economic clusters and ministers responsible for key sectors, to address obstacles delaying the finalisation of policy processes and agree urgent timelines.

"We will be thrashing out detail as well as the timeline," Gigaba said of the planned meeting.

He told a media briefing in Pretoria the president had also convened ministers in the economics cluster on Wednesday night to discuss critical interventions that need to be taken to avert further damage to the economy.

Speaking shortly after the release of the new Mining Charter by his Cabinet colleague Mosebenzi Zwane triggered an outcry, Gigaba urged him to meet with the sector and soothe the waters.

"We express the wish of National Treasury that the minister will engage with those sectors as a matter of urgency … to ensure that we do not have consequences that are going to weaken the economy further."

He noted that policy uncertainty was an impediment to investment and said weakness in the mining sector had been one of they key contributors to low growth in recent years. Gigaba added that the concerns of political risks, poor governance of parastatals and the slow pace of introducing growth-enhancing reforms flagged by ratings agencies needed to be addressed "for the good of our country".

He reiterated that it seemed highly unlikely that South Africa would meet National Treasury’s own GDP growth forecast of 1.3 percent for the current financial year and said beyond maintaining the policy of fiscal consolidation, he would have to look at reprioritising funds and cutting state spending where possible.

"We are going to have to take hard decisions which may require that we look at the possibility of further cuts in terms of government spending," he said, noting as an aside that public sector wage negotiations were looming.

"The reprioritising, the reallocation is going to be very difficult but necessary."

The minister did not outline any precise steps National Treasury would take to shore up the economy, but signaled the need for stronger boards at Eskom, South African Airways and the South African Broadcasting Agency. (via African News Agency)

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