Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (16 October)
The Gauteng Province and GE Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Economic Development
The Gauteng Province and GE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on projects in the key economic sectors of Energy and Healthcare.
Under the MoU, GE and the Office of the Premier will work together to identify critical areas for collaboration and leverage on economic opportunities within the Gauteng Province.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gauteng premier David Makhura said; “We are delighted to be going into a partnership with a world-renowned company such as GE which not only supports our vision of turning Gauteng into a globally competitive City Region, but will also help us create an inclusive economy that will see the youth of Gauteng become active agents in the economy.”
The collaboration will also see GE support the Premier’s Office’s “Tshepo 1 Million” programme, an employment creation and entrepreneurship development programme aimed at training, skilling and mentoring young people through empowering projects.
“Our social responsibility platform aims to empower people by building valuable skills, equipping communities with new tools and technology and elevating innovative ideas that are helping solve Africa’s challenges,” said Jay Ireland, President & CEO, GE Africa. “This collaboration reinforces our commitment to support South Africa’s socio-economic growth through innovative and localized solutions.”
More South Africans Taking An Active Role In Learning About Credit – Survey
A recent survey by TransUnion showed that over half (57%) of South African consumers surveyed are taking a more active role in learning about credit as a result of the current economic climate.
According to Garnet Jensen, senior director for TransUnion, this heightened interest could possibly be contributing to the small improvement seen in the overall health of the country’s Consumer Credit Index (CCI), reported by TransUnion for the second quarter of 2017. “Despite this, the index continues to remain under pressure, and there’s little doubt this will continue to prompt South African consumers to take a more active role in improving and maintaining their credit health. One simple way to do that is by regularly checking your credit report, which is used by credit providers as one of the mechanisms to determine a consumer’s credit worthiness,” says Jensen.
However, despite consumers’ renewed commitment to manage their debts and the Q2 CCI showing a marginal credit health improvement, many households remain highly indebted in a challenging economy. Against this backdrop, only 37% of consumers report they actually know their current credit score.
“Realizing the aforementioned landscape, there are clear indications that we have a long way to go before there is a proper, widespread understanding of credit,” Jensen said. “The mere fact that so few respondents know their credit score is significant, because knowing your own credit score is the first step to understanding credit overall.”
The TransUnion survey also shows that only one-third (33%) of adults are at least moderately familiar with what is included in a credit report. Even amongst those who are taking a more active role in learning about credit due to the economic climate, the proportion barely rises to 43%.
“All of this data points to a persistent lack of understanding about credit, even amongst those who are trying to learn more,” Jensen notes.
Dangote Rice Launches Youth Graduates Rice Farming Project In Kogi, Nigeria
A multi-million Naira Youth Farming Initiative that will engage teeming unemployed Nigerian graduates in rice farming has been launched by the Dangote Rice Limited in Kogi State.
This is even as the Company prepares to hit the market with one million metric tons of Dangote rice in 2018.
The Dangote Youth Rice Farm project, mainly an out-grower scheme for youths only was flagged off at the Lower Niger River Basin Authority, Kampe, Ejiba in Yagba West local government area of the state where youth have embarked on rice cultivation over 100 hectares of land.
The rice farm project, which was preceded by a special training for the youth farmers on the dynamics of the rice farming, will see the youths cultivating the rice paddy on a 100 hectares of land, which will then be bought over by the company for processing.
Under the scheme, the Dangote Rice Company provides the seedling, anti-pest-chemicals, and fertilizers while the Basing Authority provided the land for the young farmers.
The management of Dangote Rice led by the Group Executive Director, Mr. Devakumar Edwin flagged off the project while taking delivery of some rice paddy bags produced from the pilot project.
Edwin explained that the project is a new dimension to the efforts by the pan-African conglomerate, the Dangote Group, at ensuring food security and creating job opportunities in Nigeria especially for the youths saying this Initiative is in line with the vision and commitment of Dangote Industries Limited to create a new generation of agri-preneur that will revolutionize the Nigerian agricultural sector.
“We believe skill, knowledge, enabling environment, collaboration and linkages along the value chain are driving forces for economic empowerment and social development in line with the Federal Government policies. This project will address the skills gap in local rice production among unemployed youths by providing technical, organisational and financial requirements.”
He said it would also enhance domestic rice production to cover the large gap between demand and domestic production and to increase self-sufficiency of Nigeria and substitute imported rice by quality Nigerian rice brands. (via APO)
Ekurhuleni Beats Other Metros In Job Creation – Survey
The City of Ekurhuleni has had a strong year in terms of job creation, beating all South Africa’s metros, the city said on Sunday.
This is according to the recent quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) on the employment situation in South Africa for the second quarter of the 2017 calendar year and final quarter of the financial year, Ekurhuleni spokesman Themba Gadebe said.
“The report reflects that the annual employment gains observed in six metropolitan municipalities, with the largest increase in Ekurhuleni (98,000), followed by City of Cape Town (63,000) and eThekwini (58,000),” he said.
Compared to the same period last year, employment decreases were recorded in two metropolitan municipalities, namely the City of Johannesburg (30,000) and Mangaung (4000).
Another important trend, according to the survey was the decreased number of discouraged workers. The survey found this fell by 11,000. This meant that people were hopeful about finding work. Indeed, many of those who had stayed in the labour market had been able to find work, Gadebe said.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina welcomed the survey, saying the city would continue to create a favourable environment that would create more sustainable jobs through its 10-point plan.
The city’s 10-point plan included manufacturing revitalisation; aerotropolis masterplan implementation; acceleration of the IDZ/SEZ (special economic zone) programme; land availability for strategic development; support of SMMEs through public procurement; implementation of the township economy strategy; an enabling public transport system; massive public infrastructure investment; promoting localisation and production; and skills and capability development, and workplace stabilisation. (via African News Agency)