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Fri, 16 Mar 2018

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene confirmed that nuclear plans will remain on the table but will only be implemented at a pace the country can afford.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says the Energy Department will need a budget of R1 trillion for its nuclear plans.

Nene confirmed that nuclear plans will remain on the table but will only be implemented at a pace the country can afford.

The Finance Minister gave his first public address in Tshwane on Monday at a Fedusa conference.

“Which means we must not move away from the existing plans and we’re sitting with the IPPs as we speak on renewable energy, some of them that are due to be signed quite soon, some of them that are already in operation and that have assisted us in alleviating our energy challenge.”

WATCH: Finance Minister Nene’s first public appearance


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Fri, 16 Mar 2018
SA to raise GDP growth forecasts in October – Nene

National Treasury will probably raise projections for economic growth this year in its October mid-term budget as the country overcomes governance and financial problems that have lowered confidence, said Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Newly appointed President Cyril Ramaphosa reappointed Nene to the role last month. When former leader Jacob Zuma fired him and replaced him with a Des van Rooyen in 2015, the move triggered a sell-off in the rand and bonds.

Policy uncertainty and state graft concerns saw Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings lower their assessments of the nation’s debt to junk. The economy slumped into a recession in 2017 and has mounted a fragile recovery since.

The economy is forecast to expand 1.5% this year, compared with the previous projection of 1.1% and an estimated 1% in 2017, National Treasury said in its 2018 budget review on February 21. Growth will probably accelerate to 2.1% in 2020 as measures aimed at creating policy certainty and attracting investment pay off, it said.

“Prospects look good for an improvement in growth forecasts,” Nene told reporters east of Pretoria on Monday.

The government will from April 1 raise value-added tax for the first time since 1993 as part of measures to stabilise debt and prevent a third junk credit rating. Higher taxes will raise an additional R36bn in the year through March 2019 and be coupled with budget cuts totalling R85bn over three years.

The funds will go toward plugging a revenue shortfall estimated at R48.2bn for this year. Concerns about corruption and poor governance, increased tax avoidance and administrative problems at the nation’s tax-collection agency have contributed to revenue shortfalls.

The nation has to demonstrate efficiency in spending to raise tax morality, Nene said. If “resources are spent in a responsible manner, they’re able to make a huge difference in our people’s lives”, he said.



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Fri, 16 Mar 2018
Cape Town to host African peering forum

The Internet Society and African IXP Association (AFIX) will hold the 9th annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA).

The conference will be held from 21-23 of August 2018 in conjunction with Internet industry conference iWeek, which will run from 20-24 August 2018.

AfPIF is an annual event that serves as a platform to expand and develop the African Internet. It connects infrastructure, service, and content providers with policymakers in order to identify and discuss ways to improve network interconnection, lower the cost of connectivity, and increase the number of users in the region.

More than 200 participants attended last year’s AfPIF in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire including providers of international, regional, and sub-regional transport, transit, and content as well as more than 20 IXPs from Africa and beyond.

This year’s event will be hosted in South Africa, home to the oldest Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Africa, the highest density of IXPs per city in Africa, and the largest carrier neutral data centre in Africa. As a thriving terrestrial infrastructure market and the continent’s most mature peering ecosystem, South Africa will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn from its experiences and explore a growing number of opportunities in the region.

“The African IXP Association has been absolutely amazed by South Africa’s rapid development and is proud to host this year’s AfPIF in Cape Town. We all benefit from their innovation and continued success, and hope that our collective presence will provide additional momentum,” says Kyle Spencer, co-coordinator of the African IXP Association.

“We are delighted to be hosting AfPIF at iWeek for the very first time. This is a fantastic example of the kind of pan-African ICT cooperation envisioned by the Abuja and OR Tambo declarations of the 1990s,” says ISPA chair Graham Beneke.

“The first AfPIF was held in 2010 by the Internet Society from the realization that most of African Internet traffic is exchanged outside the continent, and the region could save costs by exchanging the Internet traffic locally,” says Dawit Bekele, regional bureau director for Africa at Internet Society. “The target is to have at least 80% of the Internet traffic consumed in Africa being locally accessible, and only 20% sourced outside the continent by the year 2020. We are getting closer to that target every year thanks to AfPIF and many activities that promote interconnection and hosting in Africa.”



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