Thursday 17 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s credit rating may be cut to junk if its policies become “even less predictable” or shift in a way that could undermine the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil have increased in the last two months as the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman instructed lawmakers to change the central bank’s mandate, the mines minister published new regulations that the industry says undermine investment and President Jacob Zuma’s defeat of a no-confidence motion in parliament weakened the rand. South Africa entered a recession in the first quarter.
(Times Live 08/14/17)
Claim of irregular contract is to 'impugn Gordhan's legacy'. Tensions are starting to show between Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's office and the Treasury as allegations of suppressed investigations and the running of parallel structures have surfaced. Cracks emerged this week as the Treasury wrangled with the office of the auditor-general over a R571-million contract awarded for the multibillion-rand Integrated Financial Management System. The system was envisioned to integrate all government payments into a single platform. The row includes allegations by Gigaba's backers that former finance minister Pravin Gordhan's administration, led by his director-general, Lungisa Fuzile, failed to act on an audit committee report on irregularities in the IFMS contract for more than a year. They allege the report was handed...
(Times Live 08/14/17)
Malusi Gigaba unhappy about 'stubborn' board chair and her deputy Instability and disunity within the board of ailing state airline SAA are placing the continued tenure of deputy chairwoman Tryphosa Ramano in jeopardy. Business Times has learnt that infighting between SAA chair Dudu Myeni and Ramano has become a matter of concern for Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who, it is alleged, believes it has hurt the national carrier. Ramano, who is expected by many to become chairwoman when Myeni departs...
(Financial Times 08/12/17)
Businesses hold off investment as bitter divisions rack ANC. Kutlo Marumo, the man who makes President Jacob Zuma’s trademark leather jackets, emblazoned with the black, green and gold insignia of the African National Congress, should be doing a roaring trade. South Africa’s ruling party is gearing up for a five-yearly conference where thousands of delegates will elect a new leadership and the jackets are a favourite of ANC members. But even Mr Marumo is feeling the pinch as a string...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
South Africa could escape a further slide to junk status on Friday in the same way the nation’s leader, Jacob Zuma, defeated a parliamentary rebellion and clung onto power -- comfortably but not without some sweating. Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release a ratings review two months after it cut the local- and foreign-currency assessments to one level above junk, citing risks to growth and fiscal strength due to the political outlook. That was after it put South Africa...
(Times Live 08/11/17)
"Mistakes have been made‚" KPMG SA said on Friday. The auditing firm announced it had suspended its lead audit engagement partner and was relieving two other partners of their board and executive positions pending the outcome of a review of the work the company did for Gupta-linked companies. However‚ the company is mum on who these partners are. KPMG SA CEO Trevor Hoole admitted on Friday that the global consultancy should have stopped working for the controversial family sooner than...
(Times Live 08/10/17)
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has launched an investigation into several senior officials in her department for alleged nuclear tender irregularities amounting to R80-million. Kubayi's office has confirmed that it is probing the possible violation of National Treasury regulations when the department awarded an R80-million contract to a nuclear transactional adviser‚ Mahlaka-A-Phalala (M-A-P). "There are still investigations going on the matters raised in your questions and therefore we are unable to respond as it will jeopardise and weaken the case‚" said...
(Business Day 08/10/17)
In a convoluted story of miscommunication and ignored warnings, senior officials in the energy ministry are being investigated Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has launched an investigation against several senior officials in her department for alleged nuclear tender irregularities amounting to R80m. Kubayi’s office has confirmed it is probing the possible violation of National Treasury regulations in awarding the contract to nuclear transactional advisor‚ Mahlako a Phalala Investments (MAP). "There are still investigations going on about the matters raised in your...
(Times Live 08/10/17)
Uber SA has introduced a new payment system meant to increase driver safety. The cash indicator feature allows operators to choose if they want to service clients on cash trip request or not. This development is mainly in response to recent criminal incidents affecting Uber drivers. Many have previously complained about the cash trip method because they believe it exposes them to robberies and hijacking. The new cash indicator has been activated as a pilot. It is expected to go...
(Business Day 08/10/17)
The two companies say they have entered into an implementation agreement, which will ultimately lead the delisting of Sovereign. Mid-market private-equity business Capitalworks has offered Sovereign shareholders two options, as it seeks to acquire a sizable interest in the poultry producer. The two companies said on Thursday that they had entered into an implementation agreement, which would ultimately lead the de-listing of Sovereign from the JSE. Sovereign’s share price was unchanged on the news on Thursday at R11.75, but the...
(Bloomberg 08/09/17)
The South African rand fell for a second day against the dollar after President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote that could have brought an end to his administration. The decline marks a swift turnaround for the rand, which was the best-performing major currency on Monday as the secret ballot was announced. It saw the single biggest losses among Eastern European and African currencies on Wednesday. Despite the abrupt change in fortunes, the result is unlikely to be a trigger...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal...
(Bloomberg 08/08/17)
A South African business empire built up by members of the Gupta family is under pressure as they face a mounting backlash over allegations that they exploited their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to loot billions of rand from the state. Separate reports by the graft ombudsman in November, and the country’s biggest church association and a team of top academics in May, all allege that Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta used their links with Zuma to influence cabinet appointments...
(Bloomberg 08/04/17)
South Africa’s Department of Minerals backed down on plans to freeze the granting and renewing of mining rights and will explore other measures to ensure companies are compliant with new industry rules. The decision, announced after 9 p.m. on Thursday on the department’s Twitter account, came before a High Court hearing Friday in which the main industry lobby group sought a court order blocking Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s July notice about the planned moratorium. Friday’s court application has been postponed indefinitely...
(Bloomberg 08/04/17)
South Africa’s National Treasury confirmed the appointment of Vodacom Group Ltd. executive Vuyani Jarana as the first permanent chief executive officer of the state-owned carrier since November 2015. Jarana will take the helm at South African Airways when Vodacom releases him of his duties, the Treasury said in an emailed statement on Thursday. The debt-laden airline has failed to make a profit since 2011 and was handed a bailout last month after National Treasury transferred funds to help it avoid...
(Business Day 08/03/17)
Jarana is currently a Vodacom executive and will start at SAA as soon as the cellular network company releases him Vodacom executive Vuyani Jarana has been appointed South African Airways (SAA) CEO. He will commence his duties after his current employer has officially released him. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba congratulated Jarana, saying: “Given that Mr Jarana has turned around a loss-making subsidiary of the Vodacom Group, Vodacom Business Africa, into a profitable and growth business, we believe he will be key in turning around SAA.” The Treasury said in a statement on Thursday that Jarana had, among other successes, transformed and positioned Vodacom Business as a growth engine of the Vodacom group
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
South Africa's Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Thursday that no decision had been taken to implement a moratorium suspending the issuance of new mining and prospecting rights that was announced last month. "No decision has been taken by the Minister of Mineral Resources to implement the moratorium," he said in a statement. On July 20, Zwane said he intended to suspend the granting of applications for prospecting and mining rights pending a court case to review a new...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
South Africa’s economy is producing a steady stream of negative headlines: recession, record unemployment and the weakest manufacturing in eight years. Amid all this bad news, some Johannesburg-traded stocks are beginning to look attractive. Investors seeking value should keep an eye on lenders, diversified industrial companies, healthcare providers and pharmaceuticals, said Feroz Basa, who helps manage about $150 million as joint head of Old Mutual Investment Group’s emerging markets unit. “You’re finding some pockets of opportunity in banks,” particularly in...
(Bloomberg 08/03/17)
More than one in 10 gold mining jobs in South Africa may disappear after Sibanye Gold Ltd. announced it’s joining AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. in looking to close unprofitable shafts to stem losses. Sibanye may cut 7,400 jobs as it prepares to close its Cooke and Beatrix West operations, which account for about 16 percent of its planned gold production, the Westonaria, South Africa-based company said Thursday in a statement. Added to AngloGold’s planned 8,500 job cuts, that means about 14...
(Business Day 08/03/17)
Up to 7,400 jobs could be cut as Sibanye Gold starts restructuring its gold assets in SA, to address continued unprofitability at its Beatrix West mine in the Free State and three Cooke shafts in Gauteng. Sibanye had tried a number of options to restore these operations to profitability, but had failed, said CEO Neal Froneman. The company’s restructuring comes soon after AngloGold Ashanti said it was cutting up to 8,500 jobs or a third of its South African workforce,...

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