News in South Africa 1st December:

1. SA’s wealthy donated R6.8bn to needy:

The latest Nedbank Private Wealth Giving Report shows that 83% of South Africa’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) showed up to make a difference in 2021, by giving of their time, money, goods and services to worthy causes – despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

SA’s wealthy donated R6.8bn to needy
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Published last week, the fifth edition of the report estimates that the country’s rich donated R4.2 billion in cash, R2.6 billion worth of goods and services, and 3.2 million hours of their time to support mainly social and community-development causes, religious institutions and Covid-19 related efforts.

To gain insights into the country’s wealthy population, a sample of 409 HNWIs was surveyed in 2021, to draw inferences about the estimated 147 836 HNWIs in the country.

Criteria to participate in the survey include that individuals must earn at least R1.5 million annually or have a net worth of at least R5 million.

In 2021, 59% of respondents earned between R1.5 million and R5 million annually – 6% more than recorded in the fourth edition of the Giving Report in 2018.

Around 70% of respondents in the latest survey have a net worth of between R5 million and R10 million.

Covid-19 impact

The first edition of the report was published in 2010. Researchers compiling it have thus collected 12 years’ worth of research into the philanthropic practices of South Africa’s wealthy.

Of note is that the researchers are now able to assess how the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the giving practices of wealthy individuals.

According to the latest report, although the population of HNWI givers is estimated to have increased by over 12 000 since 2018, the cash value of donations made by wealthy South Africans decreased by about R2 billion.

The Giving Report also notes that most cash donations (56%) were under R10 000, with the number of donations in this bracket up from 39% in 2018. Cash donations above R50 000 decreased from 22% in 2018 to 15% in 2021.

Finding the balance

Considering the impact the pandemic had on the value of cash donations, Hein Klee, head of international at Nedbank Private Wealth South Africa, says the entity is now interested in extracting greater value from givers – be it in terms of time, service, or monetary donations.

“The important thing is how do we encourage people to give more? The R6.8 billion we refer to in cash and goods is a drop in the ocean … [so] how do we get to R80 billion or R100 billion?”

The study indicated that economic climate is a big driver, Klee notes.

“The human nature of wanting to do good I think will always be there, but it is always difficult to quantify that in a rand amount.

“I think the important part here, is if we are potentially seeing a static level of cash being given – how do we promote people to give more hours, more goods and services?

2. UK funds urban development:

The United Kingdom (UK) is offering £1 million or around R20.8 million to an organisation that can deliver data, technology, and evidence capabilities in South African cities as part of a broader urban development programme.

The UK-SA Urban Resilience Programme aims to enable inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilient economic development in South African cities. As a UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme led by the British High Commission in Pretoria, the four-year project is a follow-up to the Global Future Cities initiative, which involved Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

The newest programme, designed to build on urban governance, spatial planning, and economic development strategies delivered during the Global Future Cities project, will run from 2023 to 2027.

The Urban Resilience Programme will be funded by the UK, with the British High Commission already looking for a single or consortia of non-profit organisation(s) to provide technical assistance of up to £1 million for South African municipalities.

This request for proposals was issued by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on Monday. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2023.

While the broader programme aims to fund technical assistance of up to £8 million (around R166 million) over four years, this first call for proposals deals exclusively with data gathering.

Data-led evidence will be used to “inform service delivery decisions, infrastructure and investment planning, asset maintenance, regional cooperation on shared issues of climate adaptation, migration.” The selected organisation will also offer best-practice training on data ethics, governance, and innovation.

3. Taxpayers funding minister’s generators:

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has replaced 13 generators at ministers’ homes, with more still to be purchased.

Responding in a written parliamentary Q&A this week, the department said that the 13 generators at ministers’ homes were replaced due to redundancy and the fact that the old generators were too costly to maintain.

It added that one more generator was purchased for a minister in November, with three more in the procurement stage.

The department has spent almost R800,000 running the generators since 1 July 2022, it said.

According to City Press, the department spent R1.3 million in 2021 installing generators at ministers’ homes, and another R681,000 in the first half of this year.

The cost of running these generators has risen from R31,750 in 2021 to R1.4 million in 2022, taking into account the R621,000 spent in the first half of the year and the R784,135 spent since 1 July.

The generators were installed to assist ministers and deputy ministers in avoiding load shedding at their private homes. This is for homes that fall outside of the official residences in the Bryntirion Estate in Pretoria, which does not experience load shedding at all.

Ministers enjoying a life free of load shedding – at the taxpayers’ expense – has drawn the public’s ire over the last years, particularly as the energy crisis in the country has deteriorated further in 2022, and vital services like hospitals are not all exempt.

The escalating costs of running the generators at ministers’ houses reflect the high levels of load shedding South Africa has had to endure in 2022 – currently the worst year on record.

4. ANC leaders shaky:

With South Africa on a knife edge as the ANC leadership deliberates on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s future, organised business is concerned that the crisis may lead to instability in the governing party, as well as the broader implications for confidence in the economy and country.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has called for Parliament to act decisively to process the report and reassure the public, businesses, and investors that South Africa is dealing with the issue with the economy in mind.

5. Durban beaches open:

The city of eThekwini says its beaches are open, despite several conflicting E-coli readings in the past few weeks. The beaches opened on 1 December.

To prove the safety of the waters for holidaymakers, deputy city manager Dr Musa Gumede took a dip at Durban’s North Beach.

Gumede said that the beaches are safe, the water is fine, and there will be no problems arising.

All information sourced from articles posted by: Moneyweb, Business Insider, BusinessTech, Fin24, and TimesLive.

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