| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma has signed the anti-money laundering bill FICA, which allows increased scrutiny of the bank accounts of "prominent individuals", including himself, into law, his office said on Saturday. The country risked being kicked out of global fraud monitor, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), if the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill was not signed by June. The bill, intended to bolster the fight against global financial crime by making it easier to identify the ultimate owners of companies and accounts - including those of "domestic prominent influential persons" - was passed by parliament in May. But Zuma sent in it back to the legislature saying he was concerned about the...
(News24 04/28/17)
There are no plans yet for Treasury to give the ailing SABC a bailout, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday. Media reports of a potential R1bn bailout were incorrect, and her department and new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had only been discussing how the broadcaster could revive its current revenue streams, she told reporters in Cape Town. She was briefing media following Cabinet's bi-weekly meeting this week. "There is no financial bailout. The discussion is about assistance to the SABC, which might not emanate in the financial bailout (sic)," she said. The new interim board, which was tasked with turning the SABC around, did not have a person with financial expertise. "I found it an anomaly that Parliament did...
(News24 04/28/17)
South African Airways says cabin crew members whose strike forced some flight cancellations have returned to work after a court order. The financially struggling airline has said that it hopes for a negotiated solution to the dispute with the South African Cabin Crew Association, a labour union whose members went on strike on Wednesday to demand higher meal allowances when working outside South Africa. The airline says 50 flights, including 28 domestic ones, were cancelled Wednesday. Later that day, a...
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday hailed China's commitment to supporting Africa's independent growth, expressing hope for closer cooperation with China in international and regional affairs. Zuma made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong here. During the talks, President Zuma asked the Chinese vice premier to extend his warm greetings to President Xi Jinping, saying he was pleased to see quick implementation of his consensus with the Chinese president on setting up the...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
A South African pact with Russia's Rosatom to build nuclear reactors was deemed unlawful by a High Court on Wednesday, casting fresh doubt over the country's energy plans. Operator of Africa's only nuclear power station, Eskom wants to add 9,600 megawatts (MW) of nuclear capacity — equivalent to up to 10 nuclear reactors — to help wean the economy off of polluting coal in what could one of the world's biggest nuclear contracts in decades. South Africa and Russia signed...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma will meet with business leaders to discuss the country’s credit-rating downgrades and a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, according to a person familiar with the matter. Zuma, 75, will meet members of the CEO Initiative on Friday to assure them of the government’s willingness to bolster investor confidence, said the person, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. S&P Global Ratings...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South Africa’s finance ministry has asked for a study into the introduction of an annual wealth tax as the government seeks to boost the standard of living of the black majority. The Davis Tax Committee, which makes recommendations to the National Treasury, also requested submissions from the public on the feasibility of a land tax and a national tax on the value of property in addition to existing charges, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. It will take...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South African inflation is under control and the central bank will maintain a policy to keep it low to protect the poor and ease inequality, Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said. Pursuing other priorities, such as reducing unemployment, has been shown in other countries to cause “widespread economic damage,” Kganyago said in a speech at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the coastal city of Durban on Tuesday. The central bank expects price growth to slow to 5.4 percent next year...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
South Africa hasn’t complied with the constitution in seeking bidders for a nuclear-energy program and must cancel any deals that have already been signed, the Western Cape High Court ruled. The government must hold public hearings and debate the estimated 1 trillion rand ($76 billion) program in Parliament, according to a ruling read out on Wednesday by Judge Lee Bozalek in a case brought by civil-society groups Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute. Agreements set aside...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
South Africa, the continent's biggest maize producer, hard hit by an El Nino-triggered drought last year, is considering a strategic reserve as a buffer against future shortages, its agriculture minister told Reuters. Neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia have such reserves, but it would entail a significant policy shift in South Africa, where commercial agriculture is market driven and the state does not act as a buyer and holder of crops. A strategic grain reserve usually involves the government...
(Bloomberg 04/26/17)
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. said protests at its Marula mine in northeast South Africa and low metal prices had led the world’s second-largest producer of the metal to start a reorganization process that could lead to more than 1,000 job losses. The mining regulator and relevant labor unions have been contacted and all parties will work together to minimize the impact of the plan on employment, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Impala expects the negotiation process...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
Sibanye Gold's shareholders on Tuesday approved the South African miner's $2.2 billion buyout of U.S.-based Stillwater Mining , moving it a step closer to significantly boosting its platinum portfolio. About 82 percent of Sibanye shareholders voted in favor of the deal which will cement South Africa's grip on global supply of platinum and advance Chief Executive Neal Froneman's push to diversify away from gold and South Africa. "We thank our shareholders for their support for this transaction which represents a...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Looking out at his 50-hectare (124-acre) estate in a valley nestled below the Helderberg mountains, winemaker Ken Forrester beams with pride in his achievements over 20 years in the business. "We never had a bad year, it's been a consistent grow," said Forrester, who is based in Stellenbosch -- the wine region just north of Cape Town. But like many South African vineyard owners, he is nervous about what the future holds for the industry, facing price pressure and for...
(Bloomberg 04/22/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he had “constructive” talks with Moody’s Investors Service in an attempt to tackle the credit rating agency’s concerns about fiscal policy after a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of his predecessor. Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade after the firing of Pravin Gordhan last month raised questions about the country’s political stability and whether the government was committed to fiscal discipline. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/20/17)
South Africa's credit rating could get downgraded deeper into junk status if political uncertainty triggered by the recent firing of the finance minister stalls reforms needed to grow the economy, an executive from S&P Global Ratings said on Wednesday. "There are risks that potential growth outcomes could be weakened, especially with uncertainty that's been brought along in a year where you may not get strong decisions for strong reform programs," said Gardner Rusike, the associate director and lead analyst for South Africa at S&P . Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch downgraded South African debt to sub-investment grade while Moody's placed its sovereign credit rating on review, citing President Jacob Zuma's decision
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
Economic commentators believe all hope is not lost on South Africa after the downgrading of its foreign currency ratings to subinvestment by international rating agencies. Standard & Poor's (S&P) lowered the country's foreign currency ratings to junk status, which led to seven banks suffering the similar fate. Many economists contributed to a panel of discussion on Thursday saying South Africa could rise from this bad situation if they put their act together. Lesiba Mothata, chief economist of Investment Solutions, said...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...

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