Development

SA Economy Grows Stronger

Finance Minster Pravin Gordhan has said South Africa’s economy would survive the “political noise” after the ANC stopped short of voting out President Jacob Zuma in a national executive committee meeting this week.

Briefing media ahead of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos in January, Gordhan said that political turmoil was not unique to South Africa.

“Political uncertainty is the new normal in the world – the question is how we deal with it. Ours, relatively speaking, is minor compared to the world trends that are developing,” he said.

SA Credit Rating on the Brink

SA has made some progress in fixing problems identified by ratings agencies, but there are outstanding issues that might mean the country is given 'junk' status, warn economists Fatima Bhoola and Nimisha Naik.

Rating agencies are shortly expected to announce their decision on whether to retain South Africa’s sovereign credit rating, or to downgrade it.

The current rank assigned by Moody’s is two notches above sub-investment grade (with a negative outlook).

Fellow agencies Fitch and Standard and Poor’s both rank South Africa just one notch above “junk” status.

Farmers Back to Work After Little Showers

Residents in the city of Bulawayo returned to the fields on Monday after some little showers pounded the country’s second largest city on Sunday, hoping to take advantage of the rain season to produce food which has turned inaccessible to many.
 
Inadequate wages and massive company closures in the City of Kings - once the country’s industrial hub - have forced residents to resort to urban farming to supplement their food stocks.
 

South Africa and the Ratings Agencies – II Fitch

The most recent decision

Fitch affirmed South Africa's investment grade rating in June 2016. Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) have been affirmed at BBB- and BBB respectively. The stable outlook remains unchanged.

Key drivers
 
The BBB- rating is a reflection of low trend gross domestic product (GDP) growth, significant fiscal and external deficits, and high debts levels. These are balanced by strong policy institutions, deep local capital markets and favourable government debt structure. 

South Africa and the Ratings Agencies – 1 Moody’s

South Africa is in the middle of controversies relating to the South African Revenue Service, the Hawks, the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the National Treasury, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). There are also serious tensions within the government and the ruling African National Congress. South African government bonds have lost money for investors as bond yields have increased. This could get worse if Gordhan is to be replaced by someone who is less trusted by investors.

A Decaying Public Service

Thursday, 15 September 2016, was a bad day for South Africa’s public sector. First, two of the country’s most senior legal officials were struck off the roll of advocates, the High Court having found them unfit for office. Then, a very senior revenue official was suspended, after various unexplained payments, running into more than a million rands, were made to his bank account. Finally, late in the afternoon, the long-overdue financial statements of South African Airways (SAA) for 2014/15 were tabled in Parliament, revealing an annual loss of well over R4 billion.
 

Putting the Focus on Strengthening SA’s Evaluation Culture and Capacity this October

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices are integral to the policy-making, corporate social investment (CSI) and development industries in South Africa because they improve performance and development impact, foster accountability, inform and guide decision-making, and widen our knowledge base.
 

The Importance of Knowledge Transfer Between Social Enterprises and Communities

Knowledge transfer has always been somewhat of a challenge for organisations, and is more visible when continuity is necessary with new members joining. It is particularly important in the space of social enterprises that do development work in communities, as will be discussed in this article.

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