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News

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Fri, 19 Jul 2019
Ford to add 1,200 jobs in South Africa from August

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will employ 1,200 new employees from August 2019 to meet the growing international and local demand for the New Ranger, Ranger Raptor and Everest models.

Ford said that these additions will bring the company’s total employment in South Africa to approximately 5,500 employees.

At the same time, it will significantly bolster supplier companies by adding around 10,000 jobs in this sector.

“The R3 billion investment in our South African plants, announced in 2017, is now coming to fruition with the addition of a third shift to increase our production output,” says Ockert Berry, vice president operations, Ford Middle East and Africa.

“The investment enabled extensive reworks at the Silverton Assembly Plant to expand our production capacity from 124,000 vehicles per year to 168,000 units, which is 58,000 vehicles more than our original capacity when the current Ranger programme commenced in 2011,” Berry said.

“The third shift will allow us to ramp up our production from the current 506 vehicles assembled per day to a peak of 720 units to satisfy the strong demand from customers in South Africa, as well as for our crucial exports to 148 markets around the world,” Berry states.

Kicking off at the beginning of August, the Silverton Assembly Plant will run around the clock using a three-shift pattern from Monday to Thursday, with the additional Friday third shift available to address any potential shortfalls in the production schedule.

“In addition to the job opportunities created for hourly employees, the new shift makes provision for 104 skilled artisans and technicians who have been appointed as permanent employees, thus adding to the skills set of our staff complement in Silverton,” Berry said.

Growth in South Africa

Approximately two-thirds of Ford’s local production is exported to 148 global markets, with the balance sold in South Africa and Sub-Saharan African countries.

The Ranger leads the light commercial vehicle (LCV) sector exports, with the locally-built model consistently ranked as the top-selling pickup in Europe.

As demand for the New Ranger and the Ranger Raptor continues to grow in Europe, Ford began exporting vehicles through Port Elizabeth in April this year – a strategic move to address the high level of congestion at the Durban Harbour’s Roll On Roll Off (RORO) Terminal, which is the country’s primary import and export hub.

The multi-port strategy makes effective use of Transnet’s rail infrastructure to transport vehicles from the Silverton plant to the Port Elizabeth vehicle terminal. Approximately 1,000 Rangers are being exported via this new route each month, which has improved the efficiency and delivery timeframes to European markets.

Port Elizabeth is also home to Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant which supports two global diesel engine programmes.

Production commenced at the end of last year of the new-generation 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines that are used in selected Ranger and Everest models, with an installed capacity of 120,000 engines per year – all of which are supplied to the Silverton Assembly Plant.

Additionally, the Struandale plant continues machining component sets, comprising the cylinder head, block and crankshaft, for the existing 2.2 [...]

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Mon, 01 Jul 2019
Relief for motorists as fuel price to drop for ‘first time in six months...

Cape Town – Motorists can expect a fuel price drop on Wednesday, the first in six months according to the Department of Energy. “On July 3, the price of 93 ULP petrol will drop by 96 cents a litre, while 95 ULP will cost 95 cents less a litre. “Diesel (0.05 percent sulphur) will decrease by 74.78 cents a litre and Diesel (0.005 percent sulphur) will cost 75.78 cents a litre less. “The price of paraffin will be reduced by 57 cents a litre.” The fuel price drop comes against a background of lower international oil prices throughout June. The Automobile Association (AA) said: “June was the weakest month for oil in the last quarter, with crude briefly slipping below $60 (R845) to the barrel at mid-month.” Economist Dawie Roodt said on Sunday: “I sense some relaxation in the markets. In fact, I would have expected more of a drop in the fuel price, considering recent factors, such as the rand that has recently done quite well on the market. “This as well as President Donald Trump’s recent last-minute pull back from military strikes on Iran and the fact that this weekend the US and China agreed to resume trade talks. “I predict that in fact the next move after Wednesday’s drop may be an even further drop.” The AA said: “Although the rand re-strengthened against the dollar towards month end, the exchange rate average for the month is negative by about 11 cents, meaning fuel users missed out on an even bigger drop. “Looking forward, the prime driver of fuel price movements for the third quarter of 2019 is likely to be the oil price.” Retreating oil prices have painted a rosier picture for South African fuel users than has been the case for much of 2019. This is according to the unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund, which in mid-June said: “At this stage of the month, we are predicting a decrease of 91 cents a litre to the petrol price, 70 cents to the diesel price, and 62 cents to illuminating paraffin.”

Source: https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/motoring/relief-for-motorists-as-fuel-price-to-drop-for-first-time-in-six-months-28294664

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Mon, 01 Jul 2019
SEZ COULD REVIVE MANUFACTURING CAPACITY IN VAAL TRIANGLE

Although growth has been subdued for several years, there is still potential to open up opportunities for both small and established businesses while stimulating economic activity and creating much-needed jobs in the country. SEZs are key in helping us to develop a global competitive economy and achieve our industrial policy objectives.

SEZ’s are particularly attractive for international investors who are looking to set up operations in the country as they can reduce the cost of doing business through incentives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). These include favourable corporate tax rates, customs, infrastructure and employment benefits, and much more.

South Africa currently has nine SEZs, including Atlantis, Nkomazi, Coega, Richards Bay, East London, Saldanha Bay, Dube TradePort, Maluti-A-Phofong, OR Tambo and Musina/Makhondo.

Additional SEZ’s have been ear-marked for implementation. These include the Vaal Triangle and the expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) SEZ to include a mineral (platinum-based) beneficiation plant in Springs, in collaboration with Impala Platinum. A further conceptual framework is currently at an advanced stage to develop an Automotive Industrial Zone in Tshwane, a collaboration led by an investment pipeline from Ford Motor Company and various suppliers.

 

A SEZ in the Vaal Triangle, in particular, has immense potential to rejuvenate a once prominent and successful SA business hub within Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark and Sasolburg. It is still home to some of the largest businesses in the key sectors of manufacturing, steel, petrochemicals, logistics and agri-processing, etc. Therefore, with the right investment and support, its ailing infrastructure, which poses a major disruption to supply chain and business processes, could be turned into a major business opportunity.

Transparent strategy and policies needed

For a SEZ in the Vaal Triangle, or any other region, to successfully revive local economic activity while attracting international investors, there needs to be clear and transparent strategy and policies in place underpinned by strong collaboration between the public and private sectors. Without proper planning, management, transparency and good corporate governance in place, the country risks the cost of investment outweighing the benefits in the long-run.

For example, while the government provides financial support to businesses participating in SEZ initiatives through SA Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), commercial banks still have a critical role to play in helping to facilitate a productive business environment through the funding of key projects and trade opportunities. Banks act as intermediaries that facilitate deals and the transfer of funds from local and global players.

The banking sector continues to invest and provide financial services to both consumers and businesses to ensure economic and sustainable growth in key nodes such as the Vaal Triangle. Therefore, platforms and opportunities to share sector specific incentives with banks and other key players as part of a multi-stakeholder governance model are essential in reaching SEZ objectives to enhance FDI, trade opportunities and create jobs.

Creating a vibrant ecosystem

Government and business also have an important role to play in creating a conducive and vibrant ecosystem for small businesses and communities to actively participate in downstream and upstream supply and value chain opportunities presented by [...]

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019
FFA/NETCARE JOIN FORCES TO BOOST HEALTH INNOVATION

A partnership between a tech accelerator and a private hospital group will have teamed up to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to build and scale health-tech startups that address the key health issues across Africa.

Founders Factory Africa (FFA) and Netcare have joined forces to design, build and scale over 35 healthcare startups across Africa. The FFA model includes its accelerator programme, which develops existing businesses through a bespoke six-month programme, whilst the incubator programme will build completely new businesses. Netcare will provide access to hospitals, primary healthcare clinics and healthcare value chains, deep health technical expertise, data and IP to the startups. The healthcare provider will also have the opportunity to continue investing in the new health businesses once their value propositions are proven.

“This exciting initiative enables us to stimulate healthcare innovation and development in South Africa and across the rest of the continent. We are proud to be joining Founders Factory Africa in creating a support system for entrepreneurs which will help them grow innovative healthcare businesses and will provide value to people across Africa, while also unlocking future investment opportunities for Netcare,” says Richard Friedland, CEO of the Netcare Group.

The partnership will unlock groundbreaking opportunities in accessing affordable healthcare. “We will deliver digitised healthcare solutions and contribute to spearheading Africa’s innovation in healthcare. The time, the opportunity, and the need is now, for driving Africa’s health-tech to improve the lives of millions of people,” says Roo Rogers, co-founder and CEO of FFA.

 

Source: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/159/192528.html

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019
7 Business Advantages of Responsive Web Design

Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Responsive design will optimise a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page, optimised for the device that is accessing it. Increasing use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on tablet and mobile devices has been the driving force behind this development.

What is Responsive Web Design? Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Responsive design will optimise a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page, optimised for the device that is accessing it. There has been a distinct audience shift towards mobile browsing and responsive design represents the simplest way to reach users across multiple devices and ensures a seamless user experience. 2013 has been hailed as the ‘Year of Responsive Design’, and with increasing preference of readers to read news online across multiple devices (i.e. tablets and smartphones), responsive design is becoming increasingly important. Time Magazine has a good example of how responsive design changes to fit the screen:

Increasing your reach to tablet and mobile audiences Increasing use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on tablet and mobile devices has been the driving force behind this development. Traditionally users would be re-directed to a device specific site (e.g. mobile), but responsive design means one site can be implemented across devices. Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year, meaning that responsive design has never been so important for those looking to optimise their online content. Indeed, some Byte9 sites are already experiencing up to 40% traffic from tablet and mobile devices, a strong commercial imperative to accommodate the smaller screen size in a unified design.

Increase sales and conversion rates Another benefit of responsive design is that the user has an improved site experience as there is no need for redirection, use of standardised Style Sheets (CSS) across devices and unified design approach will also create a consistent look and feel. Consistent user experience will have a positive impact on your conversion rates as people are familiar with navigation and site or system use across devices. Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present, i.e. in functionality, performance and consistent look and feel.

Consolidate your analytics and reporting A single responsive site means that you no longer have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirections between your sites. Site analytics tools like Google Analytics are now optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. All of your tracking and analytics will continue to function and be condensed into a single report, allowing for easier monitoring and analysis.

Increase your visibility in search engines Responsive Design means you can manage one website with a single set of hypertext links; therefore reducing the time spent maintaining your site. This allows you to focus on link outreach with a consolidated Search [...]

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019
Another Sona? Here’s what you need to know

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to deliver the first state of the nation address (Sona) of the 6th Parliament on Thursday in Cape Town.

This is the second Sona in just over four months. It marks the start of the 6th  democratic Parliament after the country’s general election in May.

Ramaphosa will deliver the address under the theme “Let’s grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom”, since the country commemorates 25 years of freedom and democracy after the historic 1994 elections.

The celebration is said to reflect on the country’s successes and challenges, as well as find ways to improve the lives of people.

What to expect

Although much has been achieved over the past 25 years of freedom, TimesLIVE reported that South Africans are eager to hear how the reversing economy can be tackled, as citizens are now demanding more than a plan but actions and tangible results.

Time for Ramaphosa’s address

The address will start at 7pm and will be broadcast live across a number of television and radio stations.

After the Sona, Parliament will meet again on Tuesday in a joint sitting of both houses to debate the content of the president’s address and on Wednesday for the president’s reply.

Road closures

According to the City of Cape Town, road closures will take place on the following times:

From 6:00 to 23:45 (for rehearsals):

Church Square Roeland Street: between Plein and Buitenkant Street Company Gardens Government Avenue from Orange Street to Wale Street Plein Street from Longmarket Street to Roeland Street St Johns Street from Roeland Street to Vrede Street Gallery Lane Bouquet Street Hope Street between Roeland and Glynn Street Wesley Street between Buitenkant and Hope Street Glynn Street between Buitenkant and Hope Street Wale Street between Queen Victoria and Adderley Street Bureau Street between Adderley and Parliament Street Spin Street and Mostert Street between Corporation and Parliament Street Parliament Street from the gates of Parliament to Longmarket Street.

Roads to close on Thursday evening only

From 17:00 to 20:00:

Buitenkant Street between Roeland and Strand streets.

From 17:45 to 19:30:

Klipper Road, Newlands, from Main Road (M4) to Newlands Avenue Princess Anne Avenue, Newlands, from Newlands Avenue to Union Avenue Newlands Avenue, Newlands, from Dean Street to Princess Anne Avenue Dean Street, Newlands, westbound from Main Road (M4) to Newlands Avenue M3, Union Avenue, Rhodes Drive, Philip Kgosana Drive (De Waal Drive), Roeland Street,  city-bound carriageway from Newlands Avenue to city centre Woolsack Drive, Rondebosch, westbound between Main Road (M4) and Rhodes Drive (M3) Anzio Road, Observatory, from Main Road (M4) to Philip Kgosana Drive (De Waal Drive) (M3) N2, Settlers Way city-bound carriageway from Main Road (M4) to city centre.

From 18:00 to 19:30:

Roeland Street, between Buitenkant and Brandweer Street.

Source: https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2019-06-19-another-sona-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

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