Published 27 September 2017, by Dr Iqbal Survé

South Africa has entered one of the most turbulent political periods since the advent of democracy on April 27, 1994. It is not an understatement to say the leadership of the entire country is potentially at stake when the ruling ANC holds its elective conference in Joburg in December.

President Jacob Zuma has already made it clear that he will relinquish the presidency of the ANC then, rather than create the spectre of two centres of power when his term at the Union Buildings expires in 2019. This is admirable in any society, but particularly so in a continent such as ours. South Africa has always been a beacon for democracy, not just for Africa, over the past 23 years.

Democracy, in its full bloom, is never neat or tidy. By definition it is messy, often robust; the more entrenched a democratic society is, the more uproarious its debates and exchanges.

The ANC certainly personifies this spirit of contestation and difference of opinion, even though the movement – Africa’s oldest – is well over 100 years old. This leadership contest, which has yet to officially begin, embodies this same spirit too – which is where the greatest danger lies and concomitantly the importance of the role that the media plays.

We live in a world of democratised information, where social media has become both the world’s greatest enabler and paradoxically the greatest threat as it spreads fake news with the same speed and dexterity as real news. In an environment where the stakes are as high as this, right here at home, so too the propensity to spread fake news will intensify, designed with only one purpose: to confuse conference delegates with often quite sophisticated smear campaigns.

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Published 12 September 2017, by staff reporter

CAPE TOWN – JSE-listed African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (AEEI), has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in prestigious cosmetics distribution company, Orleans Cosmetics (Pty) Limited (Orleans).

Orleans is the exclusive Southern African distributor of imported, high-end cosmetic brands such as Gatineau, NUXE, RVB SKINLAB/diego dalla palma professional and Sothys. These products are sold to leading retailers such as Truworths, Woolworths etc. as well as to spas and beauty salons.

Khalid Abdulla, Group Chief Executive Officer of AEEI said, “I am delighted that AEEI has concluded the deal with Orleans. Orleans was acquired to expand our health and beauty division, which is right on track in terms of organic and acquisitive growth and in line with AEEI’s Vision 2020 Vision strategy.”

AEEI’s health division has been growing steadily over the past few years, yielding excellent results. This acquisition is a strategic move to complement AEEI’s strong health and beauty division through the addition of leading cosmetic brands to its existing portfolio. The acquisition of Orleans also talks to a strong consumer-focused growth path for the
diversified investment group.

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Published 4 September by Xiong Maoling, Mathieu Wintrebert

XIAMEN, China, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — China is a very important anchor of BRICS and is critical to its future development, chairman of South Africa BRICS Business Council has told Xinhua here on the sidelines of the ongoing BRICS summit.
Despite the sluggish economic situation in certain member countries, “all the ingredients are there for us to be successful,” said Iqbal Surve on Sunday, as leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are gathering here for the bloc’s 9th summit.
Having visited China 15 times since 2007, Surve said he is amazed every time he comes back by how different parts of the country have developed. “Certainly China is leading the way,” he said.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping called on BRICS to expand the coverage of its cooperation at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, Surve said he personally welcomed the initiative. “That can only benefit the people of those countries.”
During the Xiamen summit, China will hold the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries, where leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand will join the BRICS leaders to discuss global development cooperation and South-South cooperation.
Surve thinks the idea of BRICS Plus fits the bloc’s aim to help people overcome challenges, lift people out of poverty and support people in meeting their aspirations.
The South African businessman also lauded BRICS’ rapid development in the past decade. “I’m actually astounded by the speed at which we’ve been able to achieve outcomes. I think it’s unprecedented,” he said, citing the BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) as an example.
The NDB, which was opened in Shanghai in 2015, approved loans totaling 1.55 billion U.S. dollars last year to seven programs on sustainable development and is expected to offer loans of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars this year. The bank launched its Africa Regional Center last month.
As the chairman of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, Surve also expressed the hope that when making investment decisions, the NDB will really take into account the fact that the global economy has been digitalized.
“Investment has to take place in digitalization. It has to take place in technology and we can no longer think that investing in infrastructure is sufficient,” he said.
Speaking about the development of African economies, Surve said it’s important to promote the market integration of African economies in areas such as technology transfers, technology investments, green economy, sustainable development, and so on.
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