JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African President Cyril
Ramaphosa’s economic stimulus package is unlikely to boost the
country’s sluggish economy growth significantly, international
ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday.
Several of the
measures relate to existing proposals and others will take time
to finalize and to have an impact, the ratings agency said in a
“The plan does
include measures that could support growth, but many relate to
long-standing policy ideas that have been slow to implement,”
Fitch said in the report.
“For example, the
approval of the revised Mining Charter was widely anticipated,
but its likely impact remains unclear. The decision not to
proceed with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
Amendment Bill had already been announced and replacement
legislation will take time to draft. Radio spectrum auctions
have also been delayed,” said Fitch.
On Friday, South
African president also announced an infrastructure fund, but the
ratings agency said the fund was silent on how it would be
“This could be
modestly positive for growth as the measures targeted could have
a greater multiplier effect, as could greater public-private
infrastructure investment. But it is not clear how the planned
infrastructure fund would operate and whether it will increase
contingent liabilities to the government,” said Fitch.
Fitch expects growth
of 0.7 percent this year, lower than the 1.3 percent estimated
by the South African Treasury.
After a number of
meetings with public and private sector role-players in June,
Fitch affirmed the country’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook.
South Africa introduces
measures to make travel into country easy
PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi
Gigaba on Tuesday announced measures to ease movement of people
into the country to stimulate economic growth.
Gigaba made the
announcement on Tuesday in Pretoria at a press briefing. This
follows the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week
that South Africa would change the visa regime to make it easier
for tourists to visit the country to reignite economic growth.
“We are simplifying
visa requirements for countries such as China and India. This
will make provision for taking biometrics on arrival in South
Africa, allowing visa applications via courier services. This
should be in place next month, October 2018,” said Gigaba.
Gigaba pointed out
that tourists create and sustain jobs in the country, and
migrants bring critical skills like investors, doctors and
He said, “Easing
movement in this manner will help in attracting larger numbers
of tourists, business people and families. In order to further
ease movement of travelers, for purposes of tourism, business
meetings and academic exchange, we have implemented long term
multiple entry visas for frequent travelers.”
multiple entry visa for frequent trusted travelers to South
Africa is being granted.
There is also a
ten-year long term multiple entry visa for business people and
academics from Africa. South Africa is also in the process of
easing travel restrictions for people from Nigeria, Kenya and
Uganda among others.
The country is also
trying to guard against the risk of few travelers who come to
the country to commit organized crimes and terrorism, said
He said, “It is a
challenge inherent in immigration management to detect, prevent
and act against these risks without unduly inconveniencing
The home affairs
minister said foreign students who graduate in the country with
critical skills categories are offered an opportunity to apply
for permanent residence or critical skills visa. The skill list
will be implemented in April 2019.
South Africa is also
putting measures to ease travel for visitors from BRICS
“Business people from BRICS countries who require visas (China
and India) are issued a 10-year multiple entry visa, within five
days of application. They do not need to apply in person and can
use courier services. This arrangement is meant to attract
business people and prospective investors.”
receives more than 10 million visitors annually.
Thousands rally in Cape Town
against rising crime and high unemployment
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
Thousands went to the streets here in the
South African capital on Tuesday morning to voice their anger
over rising crime and high unemployment.
Protests took place
in several communities hit hard by crimes and unemployment.
The mass rally was
largely peaceful, except at one location where protesters
scuffled with police and prompted a police crackdown.
fired teargas. Witnesses said that rubber bullets were also
used, causing injuries to several protesters.
The city’s Mayoral
Committee Member for Safety JP Smith confirmed police use of
teargas and rubber bullets at one location.
The city said the
various gatherings in the city were illegal as organizers did
not submit an application beforehand as required by the law.
The protests were
organized by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU),
which represents millions of workers and is also a coalition
partner with the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
“shutdown” of Cape Town by protesters had a limited impact and
police had the whole situation under control, said Smith.
The city has
deployed a large contingent of law enforcement officers to
prevent the situation from running out of control, the city’s
traffic service spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said.
above the 27 percent mark in South Africa. The country is also
among the countries with the highest murder rate in the world,
with 57 murders reported every day, according to statistics
released by Police Minister Bheki Cele earlier this month.
Releasing his annual
report on crime statistics in Parliament on Sept. 11, Cele said
20,336 people were murdered in South Africa in the period from
April 1, 2017 to April 31, 2018, up 6.9 percent from the 19,016
murders for the previous period.
Among other crimes,
robbery of cash-in-transit vans also saw a sharp increase in the
period surveyed, up by 86 counts, from 152 to 238, with most
robberies happening on the roads and in business areas, and 40
in shops and malls. In most instances, security guards’ weapons
were taken from them.
Rape has increased
by 0.5 percent, or by seven more people per day, meaning that
109 people are raped every day in South Africa.
burglaries have decreased by 7.5 percent, with some 625 homes
burgled every day in South Africa, the minister said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to outline
his land reform policy before U.N. General Assembly