South Africa Economic Ties with Madagascar

South Africa is the second largest developing country investor on the continent. In 2013, 29 per cent of our exports were destined to Africa. Whilst in 2012, 12 per cent of our dividends came from Africa, up from just 2 per cent a decade earlier e9lil3a. 18 large African firms now have debt and equity listings on the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange). South Africa is an important center for financial services such as fund and asset management.

In 2012 Madagascar was South Africa’s 11th largest source of imports in Africa to the value of R588.000 (annual growth of 15% over 2011). Madagascar was also South Africa’s 14th largest source of exports in Africa to the value of R1,300,000 (an annual growth of 24% over 2011)

Madagascar imports mainly minerals, fuel, sugars, iron and steel, plastics, fertilizers, soft drinks, wine, processed foods; and exports mainly textiles, machines, fuels, iron and steel, coffee, tea, spices, fish and crafts
The interesting factor is that Madagascar exports to South Africa have shown a steady growth from 2008 to 2012 while SA exports initially dropped after 2009, it is picking up from 2011.

South Africa economic involvement in Madagascar is focused on various sectors: mining, energy, tourism, finance, retail, security.

CHALLENGES / Way forward

  • To jointly ‘reactivate’ and promote economic ties (trade and investment) from its current low base.
  • Initiate the establishment of a government to government ‘joint commission’ with priority focus on economic ties soon after elections.
  • Use MASACCI (Madagascar South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to actively facilitate economic cooperation.
  • Explore joint private sector trade missions / participation of SA private sector in trade fairs in Madagascar. Trade missions by both countries, participation by Malagasy government and private sector in SA Mining Indaba, Tourism Indaba, etc.

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Informal sector in African economies plays crucial roles

Anzetse Were, Development Economist

It is well known that in Africa there exists two types of economies: the formal and the informal check over here. Often the general assumption is that the formal economy is the more important of the two, and often it is the formal sector which gains attention in terms of policy formulation, development strategies and funding inputs. However, there exists a sizeable informal economy on which millions of Africans depend. In fact, informal jobs comprise 66% per cent of non-agricultural employment in sub-Saharan Africa (82 per cent in Mali and 76 per cent in Tanzania).

The African Development Bank (AfDB), which uses slightly different delineations, estimates that nine out of 10 rural and urban workers are informally employed. The global research, policy and action network, Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO), delineates two types of informal employment. The first is informal employment inside the informal sector made up of informal enterprises including employers, employees, own account workers, contributing family workers and members of co-operatives. The second is informal employment outside the informal sector, which includes employees in formal enterprises not covered by social protection, domestic workers without social protection, and contributing family workers in formal businesses.

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In Africa, informal employment is a greater source of non-agricultural employment for women than for men: 74 per cent for women and 61 per cent for men in sub-Saharan Africa. The percentages of women engaged in own account employment are higher than of men and trade is the most important branch of economic activity, accounting for 43 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa’s non-agricultural informal employment. The AfDB estimates that the informal sector contributes about 55 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product. Analysts make the point that contrary to most assumptions, informal workers do not operate outside the state, informal workers interact with the state regularly.
However the truth of the matter is that most informal workers are poor. Indeed AfDB makes the point that most informal workers lack secure income, employment benefits and social protection. Further, they tend to have lower education and rate of literacy, and tend to work longer than those formally employed. According to the ILO, wages are on average 44 per cent lower in the informal sector. This explains why informality often overlaps with poverty. This factor is important to consider as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa asserts that 93 per cent of new jobs created in Africa during the 1990s were in the informal sector.

As it stands, most African governments have yet to design strategies to formalise the informal economy and make it productive in a manner that alleviates poverty. Issues such as taxation and regulation currently act as disincentives for formalisation. Informal businesses are reluctant to be pulled into the tax net.

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Further, the long, complicated and often bureaucratic requirements for registration as well as licensing and inspection are also barriers the informal sector faces. Those in the sector also struggle with raising capital, are often unable to fully access or leverage technology and innovation, and typically suffer poor infrastructure.

Finally, a conundrum exists for the informal sector because on the one hand the sector is an important source of employment, income and spurs economic growth. It is not clear if formalisation may negatively affect the positive elements of the informal sector. On the other hand, poverty incidences are higher in informal sector households, employment is socially insecure and the informality undermines development prospects through loss of revenue and unfair competition.

What is clear is that it is time for African countries to tackle the sizeable element of informality in their economies and develop creative strategies to magnify the positive while reducing the negatives.

© CDM Africa Bulletin – Issue 52, 2016

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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF THE CONSTITUTION

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This year’s marks the 20th anniversary of the South African Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No other law or government action can supersede the provisions of the Constitution. South Africa’s Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world and enjoys high acclaim internationally.

Our Constitution sets out how all the elements of government are organized and contains rules about what power is wielded, who wields it and over whom it is wielded in the governing of a country.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) lead South Africans in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

The SA Embassy celebrated 20 years of the South African Constitution on April 25th,2014 at the Ibis Hotel.

BACKGROUND

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The Constitution was signed into law by former President Nelson Mandela in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996 and came into operation on 4 February 1997 lexapro dosage.

The signing of the Constitution in Sharpville was a commemorative gesture in remembrance of the people who died during a peaceful demonstration against the vicious pass laws on 21 March1960. As President Mandela described it, the signing of the Constitution in Sharpville marked the closure of a chapter of exclusion and a reaffirmation of our determination to build a society of which all of us can be proud.

The drafting of the Constitution culminated from protracted deliberations and negotiations between various political parties and interest groups in South Africa. It was subjected to pensive scrutiny by the Constitutional Court, which was established in terms of the 1993 interim Constitution.

The signed Constitution came into operation on 4 February 1997 and has since then drastically transformed the legal, political, social and economic landscape of the country.

A Constitution is a body of fundamental principles according to which a State is to be governed. In South Africa, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all other pieces of legislation must align with its provisions.

It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Republic, sets out the rights, rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government, among others.

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