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Thu, 17 Aug 2017
President Zuma to launch BRICS African Regional Centre

President Jacob Zuma will preside over the official launch of the African Regional Centre of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The launch of the regional centre will take place in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“The BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] bloc of countries signed the agreement establishing the New Development Bank at the sixth BRICS Summit in July 2014 in Brazil,” said the Presidency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the seventh BRICS Summit marked the entry into force of the agreement on the New Development Bank. The NDB headquarters were officially opened in Shanghai, China, in February 2016.

Another key resolution taken at the summit was to establish regional offices that would perform the important function of identifying and preparing proposals for viable projects that the bank could fund in their respective regions. President Zuma will be joined at the launch by the President of the NDB, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Cabinet Ministers as well as other dignitaries.

Last week, the BRICS New Development Bank confirmed the appointment of National Treasury Director General, Dondo Mogajane, to the bank. The Director General was appointed as the new Director representing South Africa. The NDB was established by the BRICS countries to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

The bank, which lends money to developing countries to help finance infrastructure projects, is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


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Mon, 14 Aug 2017
City of Johannesburg plans to make billing problems history

The City of Johannesburg declared its “Billing Open Day” on Saturday a resounding success, and promised to get rid of the backlog of over 17 000 billing disputes soon.

This was after officials from the City of Johannesburg, notorious for its billing problems, set up shop at Mark’s Park in Emmarentia to help customers with long-standing billing issues, and for them to settle debt owed to the city.

Mayor Herman Mashaba and the head of the city’s finances Dr Rabelani Dagada went with a team from the Revenue Shared Services Centre to help with the disputed accounts, electricity and water consumption queries and meter issues, according to a statement on Sunday.

In the statement, Dagada said by the end of the second week of August, including the Billing Open Day, a total of 88% of billing queries logged for the months of May and June had been resolved.

However, there are still 17 797 billing queries to resolve.

“Of these, 53% are 30 days old, 30.87% are between 31 to 60 days old, while 7.98% are between 61 to 90 days old. The City expects to resolve all queries older than 90 days by the end of August 2017,” Dagada said.

“We are taking decisions here and now. By the end of March next year, we will be talking about the legacy of the billing crisis and talking about it as if it’s history.”

Their goal is to make sure that 90% of all registered queries are no older than 30 days by December 2017.

Disputes resolved included a Sophiatown resident who had been billed on the wrong meter since 2010.

Similar Billing Open Days are planned for all regions of the metro to rectify incorrect accounts, and to fix anomalies in the system.


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Mon, 14 Aug 2017
BRICS New Development Bank confirms appointment of SA’s representatives...

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has confirmed that Mr Dondo Mogajane, Director-General of the National Treasury has been appointed as the new Director representing South Africa. This follows the expiration of Mr Tito Mboweni’s term of service as Director of the NDB in early July. Mr Tito Mboweni commenced his term as South Africa’s Director at the NDB on 03 July 2015, for a 2-year term, which ended on 02 July 2017.

The nomination of Mr Mogajane by the Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba and subsequent appointment will ensure that no additional costs are incurred further by government in remunerating an appointment from outside of public service while also enhancing strategic alignment and collaboration between the government of South Africa and the Bank.

In a letter formally informing Mr Mboweni of the decision, Minister Gigaba has thanked Mr Mboweni for his excellent representation of the government of South Africa as a member of the Board and Chair of the Audit, Risk and Budget Compliance Committee with commendable professionalism and dedication.

In accordance to Articles 11(a), 12(b) and (c) of the NDB Articles of Agreement, the NDB has also confirmed the following appointments: Mr Sfiso Buthelezi, Deputy Minister of Finance has been appointed as the Alternate Governor of the NDB for South Africa;

Mr Monale Ratsoma, Deputy Director-General for Economic Policy at the National Treasury, in his capacity as Acting Deputy Director-General for International and Regional Economic Policy will continue to serve as alternate Director of the NDB for South Africa.

These appointments are also in line with the practice from the other founding members of the Bank whose representatives are from their countries’ Ministries of Finance and Treasury departments.


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