Once best known for corporate investing, private equity firms are now ploughing money into African infrastructure. Erika van der Merwe, CEO of the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) said: “Infrastructure gives private equity investors access to the strong African growth story, an exceptional theme in a structurally low-growth world.” Buying exposure to infrastructural assets through private equity provides investors exposure to an asset class that is not easily found elsewhere. “There are very few listed alternatives,” added van der Merwe. “There is limited capacity in the listed market and even in the bond market for gaining such exposure to infrastructure.” Big US private equity players like Blackstone, Apollo, KKR and Carlyle have recently invested in Africa with Blackstone taking a stake in a major dam construction project in Uganda. The bulk of foreign direct investment to be devoted to Africa over the next ten years is expected to be in infrastructure and related assets and industries. The most significant constraints to African growth are the lack of energy and transport & logistics infrastructure. Emile du Toit, SAVCA Chairman said: “None of the growth that is projected for the region will materialise without a major rollout of infrastructure, which private equity is now helping to fund. “The multiplier effects created by infrastructural investments are powerful tools for uplifting people and growing economies – and make infrastructure-focused private equity funds an ideal vehicle for fulfilling an impact investing mandate.” van der Merwe added that all development finance institutions and many pension funds now are focused on responsible investing and are looking to modify their allocations to ensure that these mandates, which extend to environmental, social and governance criteria, are fulfilled. Because of the medium- to long-term nature of their investments, infrastructure funds – and private . . .
Seasoned pro Waylon Woolcock and rising star Lourens Luus ended an electrifying game of one-upmanship to emerge as the mud-splattered overall winners of the three-day RE:CM Knysna 200 mountain bike race on Sunday. The Stellenbosch-based RE:CM duo hung on to their split-second overnight lead, and their brakes, on the wet and slippery 58km final stage to seal victory over their FedGroup-Itec rivals Kevin Evans and Brandon Stewart. 'It was quite a big goal for us to win and we're happy that we could pull it off," said national marathon series champion Luus. He and Woolcock crossed the finish line at Thesen Harbour Town in 2:14:32 to secure the overall honours in 7:44:56. Stage two winners Evans and Stewart overcame fading brakes to take third on the stage in 2:21:28 and the overall runner-up spot in 7:51:53. Former German Xterra rider Nico Pfitzenmaier and his young Bridge team-mate Timo Cooper finished second on the day in 2:17:15 to round out the overall podium in 8:00:09. After a cold and cautious start at the Harkerville Forest Station, the main contenders separated themselves from the rest of the field as they quickly rose high above the Indian Ocean. At the well-known lookout point at Kranshoek, some 15km into the stage, the four top teams – including RE:CM Rowers Matthew Brittain and Rob Dormehl – were at the head of affairs. But, by the first waterpoint at the 23km mark, the London Olympic gold medallist and his partner had dropped out of contention and were more than a minute and a half behind. The remaining three teams raced conservatively through the wet and technical Harkerville trails and were still together at the Brackenhill waterfall spectator point near Noetzie. Woolcock and Luus started asserting themselves as the conditions worsened and pulled 20 seconds clear of the two chasing pairs as they approached the Kruisfontein waterpoint at 40km. 'We didn't start off too hard because we knew there were a couple of big climbs . . .
Kevin Evans and Brandon Stewart effectively drew even as their titanic two-team tussle with Waylon Woolcock and Lourens Luus continued on the rain-soaked second stage of the RE:CM Knysna 200 on Saturday. The FedGroup-Itec riders held off overnight leaders RE:CM in a tense and tactical sprint to the finish at Thesen Harbour Town to win the 68km stage by a single second in 2:31:04. Little more than half a second now separates Evans and Stewart from Woolcock and Luus, who still lead the overall standings in 5:30:23. Bridge riders Nico Pfitzenmaier and Timo Cooper crossed the line third in 2:35:13 (5:42:54) to retain the same position in the general classification. With Stewart showing signs of struggling soon after the start at Rheenendal, Pfitzenmaier and Cooper put in a couple of big early efforts in near-perfect mountain biking conditions. Woolcock and Luus were able to reel them back each time, with a recovering Stewart and Evans rejoining the leaders among the hills of the Garden Route National Park. The three teams reached the first waterpoint, in the vicinity of Millwood around 18km into the stage, as the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain set in. "I said to Kev that my legs were feeling better," said Stewart. "So he said, 'Buckle in and climb!'" They put in several surges on the ascents on the Goudveld forest loop and continued to work hard at the front of the group. The pace eventually proved too much for the Bridge duo, who were dropped on the technical single track section around the 30km mark. "When we saw the gap, we took it and rode away with the RE:CM boys," said Stewart. At the second waterpoint in the Homtini section of the park, approximately 10km later, Pfitzenmaier and Cooper were one minute off the back. RE:CM and FedGroup-Itec turned up the gas on the Rheenendal road and by the time they hit the new single track near Phantom Pass they had opened a more than two-minute gap on the chasing pair. "I . . .
South Africa renegotiates double tax agreement with Mauritius By Ernest Mazansky, Tax Director at Werksmans Attorneys The much-anticipated renegotiated double tax treaty with Mauritius was recently signed and disclosed to the public. The new treaty, which is expected to come into effect in 2015, will impact several existing tax structures. Worth noting is the following: · The treaty tie-breaker for companies with dual residence will no longer be the company’s place of effective management (POEM). Rather, the company’s treaty residence will be determined by mutual agreement between the South African and Mauritian Revenue Authorities (MAP). By doing this, the certainty of a legislated provision is being substituted for the uncertainty of a negotiation between Revenue Authorities and in which the taxpayer will play no direct part. The dispute can also not be determined by an independent court, which is currently the case. Under the new treaty, if the two Revenue Authorities cannot reach consensus, the treaty simply ceases to apply to the company concerned. This is hardly acceptable. At the very least, the treaty should have bound the Revenue Authorities to submit themselves to a binding arbitration process (something which is provided for in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rules). · Companies which are incorporated in Mauritius and which have structured their affairs properly so that they truly have their effective management in Mauritius, or at least not in South Africa, would not be impacted by the new treaty. By not having their POEM in South Africa, they would not be dual residents and the question for dispute/mutual agreement simply does not arise. · For these companies (incorporated in Mauritius), the challenge is to ensure that there is no effective management in South Africa, and often this is more easily said than done, which is why so many Mauritian structures are at risk. But then, they were always at risk, . . .
NEWS RELEASE Visa launches first African Integration Index in South Africa • South Africa’s integration improving • Low levels of regional integration amongst African countries • Africa still offers major growth potential SOUTH AFRICA, 5 June 2013 – Visa in South Africa today launched the first Visa Africa Integration Index that measures the degree of economic integration within key trade corridors of sub-Saharan Africa, namely West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. Together with its partners, global payments company Visa touches 500 million people in these key African markets. Rationale Mandy Lamb, Acting General Manager for Visa sub-Saharan Africa, said: “There is growing evidence that supports the argument that cross-border interactions, or openness, drives economic growth and socio-economic advancement. “Our objective was to construct an index for a number of selected sub-Saharan African countries to measure their global and regional integration based on recent data. We want to better understand Africa to help unleash the enormous growth potential in electronic payments on the continent, now the heart of the developing world.” She added that the Visa Africa Integration Index is particularly timely given the release of the Africa Competitiveness Report 2013 last month. The report, jointly produced by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, said closer regional integration would be crucial in addressing underlying weaknesses in Africa's long-term competitiveness and ensuring that the continent delivers on its massive growth promise. Study Methodology The study offers a detailed analysis of key country clusters in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing strengths and areas of growth potential. The clusters are: • West Africa: Ghana and Nigeria • East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania • Southern Africa: South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The 11 constituent . . .
Honoured as a Top Performing Safari Lodge as Reviewed by Travellers on the World’s Largest Travel Site Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, 11, June, 2013 – Rhulani Safari Lodge today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. Rhulani Safari Lodge is set along a crest commanding stunning vistas of Madikwe. It offers 5-star luxury accommodation in a malaria free environment. Early morning and late afternoon game drives will give you the opportunity to view a wide variety of wildlife species, including the legendary Big 5 mammals. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. Rhulani Safari Lodge is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Rolf Steiner, Rhulani owner. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.” “TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.” URL: . . .
Waylon Woolcock and national marathon series champion Lourens Luus struck the first blow in what is expected to be an epic duel with Kevin Evans and Brandon Stewart on the opening stage of the three-day RE:CM Knysna 200 on Friday. The duo, riding in the colours of RE:CM, outsprinted the FedGroup-Itec riders to take the 77km stage by one second in 2:59:18 in a dramatic showdown on Thesen Islands. The Bridge pairing of Nico Pfitzenmaier and Timo Cooper finished a distant third in 3:07:41. Woolcock said it was an important race for his team and that he and Luus were pleased to have won a stage in an event backed by their employer. "We'd obviously like to take the overall win for them too." Another of the pre-race favourites, the RE:CM Rowers, dropped out of contention quite spectacularly when Olympic gold medallist Matthew Brittain, fourth in the recent opening race of the Nissan TrailSeeker series, rode into a cow as he and his dairy farmer partner Rob Dormehl were attempting to pass a herd. "It was quite a small cow but I was going pretty fast. It must be feeling quite sore," he laughed. The top three teams went hard from the start at the Knysna Elephant Park, with Luus setting up the attack on the first climb of the day just 5km in. "We'd warmed up pretty well, so we thought we'd take a gamble and hit it early," said Woolcock. "The sooner we could put damage into the guys the better." Cooper was an early victim, dropping off the pace on the ascent. Although he and his German partner chased hard on the descent, they were unable to rejoin the leaders. Evans and Stewart stayed on the RE:CM duo's wheel on the next long climb out of the forest and through the first waterpoint at Packwood Country Estate after 28km. "We knew we needed to be in the single tracks first because Brandon and Kevin are pretty quick," said Woolcock. By the second waterpoint, on the dirt road before Petrus se Brand at 53km, Woolcock and Luus realised they would not . . .
Come one, come all – to the grandest Casual Day of all. Join the party parade – like you’re ten feet tall! It’s never too early to start planning your Casual Day campaign. The date is Friday 6 September. Put this in your diaries and start putting together a big outfit. Because the theme for 2013 is Go Big. The organisers have announced a that this year they are pulling out all the stops to create a Casual Day that is bigger and better than ever, inviting all companies, government departments, schools and organisations, to join in the fun, because Casual Day puts the fun into fundraising. Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities (NCPPDSA), a public benefit organisation mandated to improve education, accessibility and social inclusion for persons with disabilities. Last year Casual Day raised a record amount of R22.2 million. “This year we aim to make a big, if not massive, impact with our Go Big campaign - so whether you wear big hair, big glasses, a big tie, big shoes, or just go big on the number of stickers you wear, anything goes, as long as it’s big. Funds are raised R10 at a time and a tremendous effort goes in, throughout the year, to do fundraising in this way. Not only do the beneficiaries have the immediate benefit of the money they raise, but their donations also help other organisations for person with disabilities all over the country,” says Casual Day project leader Celeste Vinassa. Partner organisations and companies who bulk order their stickers, shirts, caps and marketing collateral should consult the Casual Day website www.casualday.co.za - to see what is in store for them this year. It is time to put in your orders by filling in the forms on the website and making sure the office has your form. Casual Day 2013 takes place in continued partnership with its main beneficiaries and 300 participating organisations dedicated to advancing the rights of and rendering services for . . .
With the revised codes of good practice scheduled to be gazetted in August or September 2013, businesses continue to be in limbo regarding some of the revisions in this important transformation legislation. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has held a number of sessions after the close of the public commentary process to further understand and at the same time convince businesses and industries to comment and or accept DTI’s rationale on a number of points that are in dispute. DTI, in their own admission have confessed that the bulk of concerns and questions that have been asked at the various sessions around the country are of the same nature and require thorough consideration and review. Be that as it may, the codes are scheduled to be gazetted before the end of the 2013 calendar year, in what shape or format, that waits to be seen. The revised codes in their current format propose that Ownership, Skills Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) be treated as priority elements, which carries a 40% minimum threshold. In other words, if a business does not score the minimum points in any of these three areas, they drop a level if they are a Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) and two levels if they are a business whose turnover is above R50 million. The impact of this revision brings challenges in the motor industry as follows: The Ownership element, which now carries 25 points is key to some of the businesses in the motor industry. A simple example is that if a business has 7% black ownership and is currently a level four, it will drop to a level six because they do not have at least 10% black ownership. In this example, depending on the shareholders’ appetite on ownership issues, this revision may discourage black participation in the business in the form of shareholding and thus stifle transformation. It may be the opposite though, in some instances. The current gazetted Codes of Good Practice allows businesses to claim . . .
South African artist Simon Max Bannister has been announced the 2013 David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year. He received the award on 3 June at a prize giving event at the Mall Galleries in London, for his pieceLong Journey from Londolozi - a large sculptural trio of giraffe. Bannister accepted this prestigious award of ?10 000 from wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd CBE and special guest and DSWF supporter, David Gower. The prestigious competition, in its sixth year, honours exceptional wildlife art from around the world. The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is a UK-based charity funding key projects in Africa and Asia working to save critically endangered mammals in the wild. “The entries were quite magnificent this year and Simon is a very worthy winner,” said wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd CBE who launched the art competition in 2008 to raise funds and awareness for endangered wildlife. “From the judges’ point of view the drama and technical excellence in all the work was quite breath-taking.” Simon Max Bannister, who is currently based at Londolozi Game Reserve as artist in residence, has been creating sculptural artworks for 3 years. After working with his degree in Graphic Design he started to experiment with expressing his creativity through alternative means, including earth, stone, leaf, water, light, shadow and even plastic. “It is ultimately the creative processes of nature that inspire his creative endeavors,” said Bannister. He has participated in events such as Site_Specific, AfrikaBurn, Infecting the City and the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. He has created multiple private commissions for wine estates, game reserves and educational facilities. While keeping a diversity in materials, his style is unique and his passionate creativity is in tune with the climate of the times. For more information on his work, visitwww.simonmaxbannister.com URL: . . .