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South Africa receives major investment injection in car manufacturing

Port Elizabeth, 07 December 2017 — BAIC South Africa (SA) announced that the first shipment of vehicle assembly plant equipment for the new BAIC automotive manufacturing facility, currently under construction in the Coega Special Economic Zone, has arrived in Port Elizabeth.

The R11 billion car plant – a joint initiative between China’s Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), which is the majority shareholder with a 65% stake, and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – is South Africa’s largest motor investment in nearly 50 years.

BAIC SA said the equipment was shipped from Tianjin, located in the Northern Coastal mainland of China, late in September 2017.

The shipment comprises components for vehicle assembly, welding and painting plant equipment. BAIC noted that industry standard equipment, on-line-testing, installation service, logistics and consumable items will be locally procured, accounting for 15% of the total equipment value in terms of the agreement with Beijing Industrial Designing & Research Institute Co. Ltd (BIDR) – the engineering procurement construction (EPC) contractor in the construction phase of the BAIC SA plant.

Commenting on technical specifications, Gary Yang, BAIC SA Head of Marketing and Planning said: “Under body, main body and body adjustment line will enable manufacturing of both left and right hand drives with 14.5 jobs per hour (JPH).”  Yang further noted that welding automation will reach 60% and body transfer automation will be 100%: “The assembly line is flexible to handle various body structure vehicle assembly. Our modular engineering design will accommodate a variety of assembly procedures for different models. The painting line is also flexible for various models. Painting automation can reach 34.3% with 100% automatic parts feeding function on SKD and CKD models. Painting robots from ABB are employed for 100% automatic exterior painting.”

Commenting on the project completion date for the plant, Yang said: “We are on track with our project timelines with a major milestone being completion and installation of assembly shop roof structure. The equipment will be installed shortly after the New Year”.

Issued on behalf on behalf of BAIC SA and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) by Meropa Communications PE Media Representative, J.P Roodt.


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Social Enterprise Masterclass Challenges Delegates to Build Sustainable Organisations

The concept of social enterprise has gone mainstream over the past few years, reflecting a desire for new ways to create economic value in a manner that delivers measurable social impact. This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week kicked off on 10 November at the continent’s largest start-up campus, 22 on Sloane in Bryanston. On Wednesday 15 November, the venue hosted masterclasses on various aspects of entrepreneurship such as social entrepreneurship, funding strategies for small business, purpose-driven enterprise, as well as inclusive growth.

The first session, Social Enterprise and Impact Investment, kicked off with Mbali Zamisa, enterprise Programme Coordinator of the South African Breweries Foundation talking about various SAB Foundation enterprises that seek to fund various small businesses. These include the Tholana Enterprise, which seeks to empower marginalised groups such as women, youth and rural business.

The room comprised mostly of determined and engaged entrepreneurs whose business’ life span ranged from one to five years old. Rudzani Mulaudzi from Grades Match and Nneile Nkholise from Likoebe Innovation Consultants spoke about impact investment and measurement.

No let-down was The Disruptors author Kerryn Krige’s talk on the complexities and contradictions of social entrepreneurship and especially what it really is. Her talk featured many salient questions and statements that served as food for thought for entrepreneurs:

  • How am I going build stability in this organization?
  • Legitimacy and authenticity are inextricably linked
  • Funding social value in a sustainable way
  • Social enterprise blends income methods which enables you to have control over the types of income you bring in
  • It’s not about how much money you get!


Other important take-aways were about were remembering that ‘‘your story is more important than your numbers but use numbers to back up your stories (“finance people aren’t as stupid as they look!”), and the importance of doing homework on your investor, needing your investor to offer more than just money, and enhancing your own ‘‘investability’’.

The Future of Sustainable Job Creation talk with Managing Director Zanele Luvuno of Transcend Talent Management explored the ways in which policy creation can aid job creation and exposed challenges with implementing BEE legislation. The objective was to invite professionals to see beyond corporate life and tap into research and business development facilities to pursue small business development.

The last session on Integrating the Township and Informal economy by Sifiso Moyo was a dialogical sitting that had all delegates debating on the ways in which the township could benefit more from entrepreneurial ventures. Moyo asked critical questions that involved historical facts, relevant statistics and real-life case studies to observe and analyse successes and failures of a few entrepreneurial ventures in the township. The theme of the Township Renaissance was an indispensable topic that pushed the entrepreneurs, many who are from the township, to shift mentality and think of innovative ways of serving their communities with the intention of creating a strong township eco-system in which the rand would circulate numerous times and not only once in a context where R2.2 billion rand is generated out of township economy annually. This challenge presented the opportunity for township entrepreneurs to become real and legitimate competitors with big competitors and franchises.

Global Entrepreneurship Week endeavours to host more events in which more entrepreneurs will actively and consciously engage with like-minded peers who have succeeded such as Vusi Thembekwayo, who graced this week’s first event. The Masterclasses were informative, thought-provoking, and mostly motivating to the passionate and driven young youth who came to learn from the best in the business.

Written by: Gabaza Tiba (Makhaya Advisory)

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Polishing your business pitch

Engen Petroleum and Nedbank have partnered with Raizcorp to bring the ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme to cities and towns across South Africa, for the eighth time. The programme helps to educate and grow entrepreneurs.  It teaches entrepreneurs how to polish their business pitch in order to obtain funding.

What type of Pitcher are you?


Pitching your business is an essential skill to master in order to grow your business. And, if you want to grow your business, you must be able to pitch it successfully. The way you say things is as important as what you actually say – and could mean the difference between attaining the investment needed – or being turned away. No matter the result, every opportunity to pitch is an opportunity to get better!


Now in their eighth year of listening to entrepreneurial pitches, ENGEN Pitch & Polish, in association with Engen Petroleum, Nedbank and Raizcorp, have identified six distinct pitching types. Which one are you?


The first three types fall into the category of ‘content pitchers’. These types are either getting it wrong – or right – from a content point of view.


The Investor-Ready Pitcher

  • You are the ideal pitcher! Your business case is clear with a defined product or service, which is ready to be taken to customers.
  • You have done your market research and can prove that people want what you are offering.
  • Your sums add up and you can demonstrate a clear Return on Investment (ROI).


The Salesman

  • Your pitch is purely sales-focused, with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
  • Investors want to see the real you and understand your business – they are far more interested in you, than your product or service.
  • Be real and be honest.


The Technician

  • Technicians only want to speak about the finer details of their product or service. They use too much jargon and technical terminology. The result is that the investors’ attention is lost as they stop listening.
  • Investors need the whole picture to make the ultimate decision.
  • Focus your pitch on how your business is going to make money.


The next three types fall into the category of ‘style pitchers’. These types are, unfortunately, getting it wrong from a style point of view! When you are confident in what you are saying, you will come across as authentic, credible and authoritative in your field.


The Floor-Gazing Dancer

  • These pitchers are so nervous they can’t look the investor in the eye. Instead, they stare at the floor and tend to move from side to side.
  • This pitch is hard work for an investor as the movement is dizzying and lack of eye-contact alienating.
  • Resolve to make a concerted effort to stand straight and look people in the eyes.


The Mumbler

  • The mumbler speaks incoherently and softly.
  • If investors cannot hear your pitch, they aren’t going to invest in your business.
  • Practice is key to gaining confidence in yourself and what you are saying. Record your pitch and listen to yourself. Become aware of your fillers and replace them with pauses.


The Racing Driver

  • You speak so fast that it is difficult to grasp your business offering and model.
  • This can intrigue an investor if spoken with confidence. However, it often leads to an ineffective pitch.
  • Refine your pitch. Shorten it and select places to breathe and connect with the investors. Plan your pauses. Enunciate clearly.


No matter the content, or style, of your pitch, a good pitch tells a story and a good story needs refining and rehearsal. As Alan Shannon, head of Nedbank Relationship Banking Sales, says “anything that distracts the audience from your message makes the message less effective.” To learn how to hook your audience, by creating your best business pitch, come to the ENGEN Pitch & Polish workshop and competition.

Author: Engen Pitch and Polish


For a list of this year’s workshops, and to experience the magic of ENGEN Pitch & Polish for yourself, visit

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We require another historic turnaround

IT IS still too early to tell how the post-apartheid creation story will be told. But I suspect one of the founding tales that will endure is that of a new administration that inherited a near-bankrupt state (with junk status at S&P and Fitch) and turned it around into an investment-grade economy. It is a tale of how inflation was reined in, debt repaid and kept at manageable levels, and fiscal deficits tamed despite pressing socioeconomic needs that may have tempted riskier policies.

These early successes on the macroeconomic front are fraying and the political support that made them possible is no longer assured. But one cannot take away how far the country has walked towards stable fundamentals. This is a track record to be defended vigorously.

The trouble is that macroeconomic stability is only part of the puzzle when it comes to economic success. The countries that top the charts, be it on creditworthiness or competitiveness, have done far more than draft good budgets or raise interest rates timeously to earn their renown. Countries such as Norway, Germany and South Korea are also known for their high levels of productivity, their innovation as well as their competitiveness.

SA needs a similar turnaround to that mounted by early administrations, but this time focused on its structural foundations. There is near unanimity that the economy lacks competition and dynamism in its product and labour markets. Low levels of confidence have taken a toll on investment. Growth statistics show gross fixed capital formation fell 2.8% in the last quarter of 2015. This saw investments in fixed assets by the general government and the public sector falling, with public corporations the only segment to register growth.

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The private sector’s contribution to inclusive growth

IN RECENT weeks business, labour and the government have presented a united front to fight economic uncertainty and stagnation. Too many people are excluded from meaningful economic activity in SA, manifest in high levels of unemployment (catastrophic for the youth) and inequality.

The toll of exclusion is felt in many other economies across the world. International Monetary Fund economists Ravi Balakrishnan, Chad Steinberg and Murtaza Syed have found that even in Asia, economic growth is now accompanied by rising inequality. In addition, the higher the level of income inequality in a country, the less economic growth contributes to poverty reduction.

The nature of the economic bargain behind American success is also under threat. As many authors including Joseph Stiglitz and Rana Foroohar, have argued, capitalism seems to serve super-elites in a country that once prided itself as the land of opportunity.

The resounding response from mainstream economists has been a prescription of inclusive growth that benefits the poor as much as, if not more than, the wealthy. It is also becoming increasingly clear which government policies favour inclusion. Public investments in infrastructure, early childhood development, quality basic education, a sound social safety net and transparent institutions are likely to boost widespread productivity.