US ambassador praises SA’s renewables programme

South Africa has a world-class renewable energy programme, thanks in part to its innovative energy policy that has facilitated the development of projects that are commercially competitive with plants using traditional fuels.
Source:
Source: realinf.com
These are the words of the US ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard at the launch of a partnership between the US Embassy in Pretoria, the South African department of environmental affairs, the CSIR and Connect4Climate to further promote awareness around renewables.

“I am proud that US firms are the biggest investors in the renewables sector; if South Africa continues to pursue its policy to expand the number of wind and solar projects, we expect that significant new foreign investments will come in, prices for the consumer will continue to improve and significant new jobs will be created in the sector,” he said.

Much of the country’s renewables success has been as the result of the highly successful renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme.

The CSIR says solar photovoltaic and wind energy are 40% less expensive than baseload coal-fired power stations, providing economic benefits to the entire South African economy.

“Yet despite this programme’s success, the overwhelming majority of South Africans remain unaware of what has been achieved through renewable energy and how this impacts their lives. This is a recurring challenge that renewable energy communications and marketing industries, in particular, are countering.”

“South Africa is one of few countries that has the potential to stand at the forefront of developing and deploying the world’s 21st century energy technology, and we look forward to working with leaders in the renewable energy sector who are paving the way,”Gaspard added.

Investment in residential property in SA continues to shine

To say that it’s been a tumultuous year for the planet is definitely an understatement, and yet in the face of a sluggish and uncertain domestic and global growth environment and ongoing socio-political challenges, the residential property market in South Africa continues to exhibit extraordinary resilience and remains one of the few bright spots in an otherwise relatively lacklustre economy.
This is despite five consecutive years of subdued economic growth, a severe drought and repeated bouts of rand weakness, which have ignited renewed price pressures and prompted the Reserve Bank to gradually, but repeatedly, raise interest rates before stabilising them.

Investment in residential property in SA continues to shine
The strength of the housing market is attributable to the continued vibrancy of the country’s major metro areas coupled with an ever growing preference for property as an asset class at a time of extreme financial market volatility.

However, signs are now emerging that the national housing market is beginning to lose some momentum in the face of these persistent economic headwinds.

After registering an average house price inflation rate of 5.5% last year, the Pam Golding Residential Property Index (PGP Index) reached a cyclical peak of 5.7% in March this year and now appears to be slowing.

The gradual slowdown in national house price inflation is occurring at a time when rand weakness and higher food prices have driven the consumer price index above the Reserve Bank’s 6% upper inflation target limit.

While the PGP Index has averaged 5.6% during the year to date, the consumer inflation rate has averaged 6.2% during the same period. This would suggest that, after adjusting for inflation, real South African house prices have fallen by an average of 0.6% compared to the same period last year.

However, this picture is actually misleading since the national house price index is a weighted average of house prices across the country. As a result, this national average includes a wide range of divergent performances evident in the different regions, metros, price bands and unit types – all of which make up the national housing market.

When one begins to examine the overall housing market in greater detail it becomes clear that – even though national house price inflation is beginning to slow – there are still several sectors within the local housing market which continue to flourish and register positive real growth rates.

For example, during the year to date, house price inflation in the Western Cape has risen by 10.35%. Adjusting for inflation, this translates into a real increase in house prices of 4.2% during the first nine months of the year.

Location, not economy, a key determinant of time to sell

Furthermore, the importance of location when selecting a property to purchase was highlighted by recent research released by Lightstone that revealed that the suburb in which a property is located is a relatively more important factor in determining how long a property takes to sell than the state of the economy.

To illustrate this, the Western Cape may have experienced the highest overall growth in homeowners due to the well described and most significant semigration trend, but the suburb at the top of the pile from an activity perspective is not in the Cape but in Pretoria – with homes in Garsfontein selling within 2.8-months of listing. In contrast, a property in Parkhurst typically stays on the market for 7.4-months.

Generally speaking, however, the other the major trends in the national housing market during the past nine months remain unchanged:

Western Cape property market stays on top

The outperformance of the Western Cape housing market relative to both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal began in mid-2013 – which more or less coincides with the start of the semigration of buyers to the Cape. Factors fuelling movement to the Cape – the appeal of a proven record of service delivery, access to excellent schooling and the attractive lifestyle – are showing no signs of slowing down. There is still real growth in the property market.

Namibian diamonds make their way to Dubai

Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) sold diamonds estimated at around N$2,1bn to unnamed companies in Dubai, a location known for accepting undervalued diamonds from Africa.
Namibian diamonds make their way to Dubai
123rf.com
Namdia’s board chairperson, Shakespeare Masiza, confirmed to The Namibian that they sold the diamonds to Dubai, but refused to name the company which bought them, saying it was confidential information. His reluctance to reveal the companies which bought Namibian resources adds to worries about the operations of the new parastatal that have been clouded in controversy over the past two months.

Among these is the questionable decision by Obeth Kandjoze’s ministry to ignore state procurement laws by awarding a contract to a well-connected middleman company to valuate Namibia’s diamonds.

“Namdia is selling its diamonds in Windhoek, and has sold the diamonds to companies based in Dubai,” Masiza stated.

He said they sold the diamonds to Dubai companies because most major diamond industry leaders or companies are based in Dubai.

Namibian political leaders have also travelled to the Middle East to lure investors.

“Dubai has emerged as one of the most prominent global diamond trading hubs. As such, the focus of the rough diamond industry has moved from Belgium to Dubai,” he said in an email copied to board deputy chairperson, Tania Hangula, and acting chief executive, Kennedy Hamutenya.

Masiza said Dubai is Kimberly Process certification compliant. The Kimberley Process certification started in 2003 to keep diamonds tainted with violence out of the international trade, but this has not stopped the elite from countries like Angola from selling the gems through Dubai.

“In fact, Dubai is the chair of the Kimberly Process certification this year and has the best infrastructure for the diamond industry to work from,” Masiza noted.

Dubai is one of the top three diamond trading hubs in the world, rivalling centres such as Antwerp (Belgium), and Mumbai in India. But it has been used as a tax haven and also accommodating illegal diamond trade.

An investigation published by World Policy Journal titled ‘Kimberley’s Illicit Process’ found that Dubai was used to under-value diamonds from Africa through subsidiary companies based in jurisdictions providing legal and financial secrecy, like Dubai.

Diamond experts said Dubai provides two advantages: first is the “mixed origin” Kimberley Process certificate that effectively removes the origin of the diamonds; second is the frequent re-invoicing of diamonds which are exported from African countries at a lower price before being re-exported from Dubai at a higher price.

An American embassy cable released by Wikileaks said the former chief executive of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, Noora Jamsheer, claimed that the Kimberley Process system in Dubai was corrupted, and that she was offered commissions to turn a blind eye.

In refusing to disclose the names of the companies which bought the Namdia diamonds, Masiza said information about Dubai buyers of Namibian diamonds are “commercially sensitive and can therefore not be disclosed”.

“Namdia agreements with our clients are confidential. The clients prefer that their names not be made public,” he said.

He added that the government task team carried out due diligence on the integrity of all potential Namdia clients.

In 2007, the Namibian government and De Beers set up a joint venture, the Namibia Diamond Trading Company, to supply rough diamonds at a discount to selected customers, known as sightholders, for three and a half years.

Unlike NDTC which publicly advertises and announces its beneficiaries, Namdia’s chairperson insisted that they will not reveal the names of the buyers to the public. “That is NDTC’s choice,” he said.

The decision by Namdia to sell diamonds to Dubai was not well taken by some local diamond companies which are now being offered to buy the diamonds from Dubai. Namibian companies are furious that diamonds are being exported by Namdia instead of empowering the local market.

Secrecy about Namdia’s work comes two weeks after The Namibian reported that a company owned by businessman, John Walenga, and a nephew of former Cabinet minister, Helmut Angula, was hand-picked to evaluate diamonds from the new state-owned diamond firm.

Walenga and his partner, Tironenn Kauluma, were awarded the deal by the ministry of mines to evaluate diamonds from Namdia through their company called C-Sixty Investment.

Sources said the deal is worth anything between N$10 million and N$26 million per month, but those sympathetic to Walenga’s camp claimed that the figure is too high.

Sources said Namdia appears to be in the hands of a cartel of top politicians, senior state officials and their cronies who are strategically placed in the new parastatal to benefit from Namibian diamonds. Some of them are linked to top officials in the Presidency.

Embassy Certificate Attestation To Legalize Your Documents

Embassy certificate attestation is very important procedure that has to be completed for all those who are planning to go abroad to seek job, for higher studies, as part of employment and to start business there. In all these cases, it is essential to attest your documents and to prove that it is not counterfeit or forged. Once the embassy certificate attestation process is completed in your documents, it is recognized internationally as legal papers. The embassy certificate attestation providers attest the certificates and documents from the embassy/consulate of the respective countries. Before submission, certain qualifying formalities have to be completed in order to get embassy certificate attestation from the concerned country’s embassy. The qualifying formalities are somewhat similar for almost all the countries. In some cases there may be slight. variations.

Attestation Process

The attestation process depends on the type of certificate you are submitting and the destination country. But for all types of certificates to get attestation, it has to be first be attested by the govt. of India or the concerned departments authorized for it. There are two departments to take care of this attestation: HRD (Human Resource Development Department) and MEA (Ministry of External Affairs).

Certificate attestations are of two types :-

Educational Certificate Attestation

The purposes of getting educational certificates attested are mainly for getting employment, visas and higher education. Certificates that are received from schools and colleges like SSLC/10th/CBSE, PDC/+2/HSC, Degree certificates like BA, B.sc, Bcom, BTech, BE, BBA, CA, MBBS, Post graduate certificates like MA, Msc, Mcom, MBA, MCA and other Diploma, Nursing and ITI certificates.

Non-Educational Certificates

Non-educational certificates consists of marriage and birth certificates, affidavit, transfer and leaving certificates, medical, death, divorce, experience and provisional certificates.

Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents are documents that are submitted along with the above mentioned documents for attestation. The exact number of documents and the type of document vary according to each country. Mark lists, transcripts, registration, selection letter, passport copy, photo etc are some of the supporting documents that are usually asked for attestation.

When giving certificates for attestation, you should be prudent enough to opt for agencies that give genuine attestation and have an excellent track-record. If caught with fake attestation, you will be the one who is answerable and not the agencies, and may fall prey to the stringent laws of the host country. Always take extra caution while depending on private players. But that does not dissuade you from giving your certificates to private agencies, there are good numbers of agencies who are genuine and who provide excellent services. Depend on such agencies for attestation, they give you prompt services and deliver your certificates intact.

When giving certificates for attestation, you should be prudent enough to opt for agencies that give genuine attestation and have an excellent track-record. If caught with fake attestation, you will be the one who is answerable and not the agencies, and may fall prey to the stringent laws of the host country. Always take extra caution while depending on private players. But that does not dissuade you from giving your certificates to private agencies, there are good numbers of agencies who are genuine and who provide excellent services. Depend on such agencies for attestation, they give you prompt services and deliver your certificates intact.

Embassy Certificate Attestation – What Is Attestation And How To Get Services To Do It?

Embassy Certificate Attestation is a requirement that arises when a person is planning to go abroad seeking a career, higher education, to sign business deals, to start business, migration and travel purposes. Embassy Certificate Attestation can be done using the services of private agencies. There are quite a lot of agencies who provide services on Embassy Certificate Attestation. It is important to attest your documents and to prove that is original and not forged. Embassy Certificate attestation is internationally reckoned and considered as legal documents once attested. The service providers whom you depend upon get the certificates attested by submitting it to the concerned embassy of the country you are planning to go. Once the attestation is finished, it is legally valid and no one can doubt the genuineness of the documents.

In order to certify it, the verifying authority (who holds a high position) verifies the copies with the original and puts his seal and signature. Each country has its own rules and regulations for attestation, but overall it remains the same. Certificates can be broadly categorized into three – educational, non educational and supporting documents.

In order to certify it, the verifying authority (who holds a high position) verifies the copies with the original and puts his seal and signature. Each country has its own rules and regulations for attestation, but overall it remains the same. Certificates can be broadly categorized into three – educational, non educational and supporting documents.

Attestation Procedure

The criterion to get embassy attestation is that the documents have to be first attested by the Govt of India. There are two sections in Govt. of India to take care of attestation procedures, Human Resources Development (HRD) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Categories of Documents

Educational Certificates

In this category certificates include that received from schools and colleges like SSLC/10th/CBSE, PDC/+2/HSC, Degree certificates like BA, B.Sc, B.com, B.Tech, BE, BBA, CA, MBBS, Post graduate certificates like MA, M.sc, M.com, MBA, MCA and other Diploma, Nursing and ITI certificates.

Non – Educational Certificates

This category consists of marriage and birth certificates, affidavit, transfer and leaving certificates, medical, death, divorce, experience and provisional certificates.

Supporting Documents

Supporting Document are documents that are submitted along with the above mentioned documents for attestation. The number and the type of supporting documents may vary from country to country. Most common supporting documents are mark lists, transcripts, registration, selection letter, passport copy, photo etc.

To do these services there are lot of certificate attestation companies in the market, and there is no problem in finding a right agency. It is good that you invest good amount of time researching about these companies and getting references regarding the genuineness and reliability of the company. Remember that you are giving your hard earned certificates to these companies; it has to come back to you in good condition as well as with genuine attestation.