Thursday 18 January 2018

Afrique du Sud

(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
South Africa's central bank chief Lesetja Kganyago will take over as chair of the International Monetary Fund's policy advisory committee, the IMF announced Thursday. Kganyago, who has served as governor of the South African Reserve Bank since late 2014, takes on a three-year post as head of the International Monetary and Finance Committee. He replaces Agustin Carstens, former head of the Bank of Mexico, who resigned in December to take over as head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). His first major role will be to oversee the IMF's Spring meeting in Washington in mid-April. The 24-member IMFC is the primary advisory body of the IMF Board of Governors on the principal policy issues...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday called on prosecutors to act urgently in pursuit of a firm owned by friends of scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma, as pressure mounted on him to step down. Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma as head of the ruling African National Congress last month, making him likely to replace Zuma as the country’s next president in 2019 - or even earlier, if Zuma resigns. In recent days he has gone on the offensive against companies controlled by the Gupta family, businessmen friends of Zuma accused of unduly using political...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Cape Town will next month slash its individual daily water consumption limit by 40 percent to 50 litres, the mayor said Thursday, as the city battles its worst drought in a century. Mayor Patricia de Lille has warned that if rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved the normal water supply will be shut off. Instead residents will have to queue at standpipes for daily water rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons). "We have reached...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s drought-stricken Cape Town told residents on Wednesday they would need to cut their daily water consumption by almost half from next month as authorities scramble to prevent the city running out of water as soon as in April. Struggling to cope with its worst drought in a century, Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city and a major tourist hub, last cut water consumption targets in October but its mayor said on Wednesday that too...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
South Africa is fighting to revive its frayed clothing industry, once a crucial provider of jobs in a country suffering from high unemployment, as a flood of cheap imports forces local factories to shutter and lay off workers. Once the economic lifeblood of many small regional towns, the abundance of cheaper products from China has led to the loss of nearly two-thirds of the sector's jobs over the past two decades. "After being employed for 22 years we were informed that the factory would close down in eight weeks," said Vimla Padayachee, 46, who lost her job three years ago.
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
South African prosecutors said Tuesday they are seeking $130 million from global consultancy McKinsey and a local firm linked to a graft scandal that has engulfed President Jacob Zuma. The announcement was the first move against the Gupta family that is accused of corrupt dealings with Zuma, including allegations it profited from lucrative government contracts and chose ministerial appointments. The local company, Trillian, was controlled by an associate of the Guptas at the time of the allegations in 2015 and...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
As Cape Town suffers its worst drought in a century, residents were warned by the mayor on Tuesday that they face losing piped water to their homes by April 21. If rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by "Day Zero", the city's people face the prospect of queueing at standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (9.2 US gallons) of water. The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court has authorized the freezing of 1.6 billion rand ($130 million) in assets earned by global consultancy McKinsey and a firm linked to friends of President Jacob Zuma, a source at the state prosecutors’ office told Reuters. The Pretoria High Court made the decision in December after a request by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to freeze the fees earned by McKinsey and local consultancy Trillian for advising South African power utility Eskom. Privately-held McKinsey, one of the world’s largest management consultancies, has already lost several clients over the contract. This month Zuma agreed to set up a commission of enquiry into allegations...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Virat Kohli led by example with a batting masterclass as India stayed in contention on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Monday. Captain Kohli hit a masterly 153 in India's first innings of 307 to stay in touch in Centurion, even though South Africa stretched a 28-run first-innings lead to 118 by scoring 90 for two in their second batting effort on a storm-shortened afternoon. India are slightly behind going into day...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
South Africa's ruling ANC party met behind closed doors Wednesday as pressure grew on President Jacob Zuma to step down ahead of elections next year when the party risks losing power. Zuma was replaced as party leader by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa in December, and analysts predict Ramaphosa faces an uphill task to recover public support ahead of the 2019 vote. Zuma's future was not on the official agenda at the ANC national executive committee meeting in the port city...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
South Africa's graft-tainted president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday announced a probe into corruption at the highest levels of the state after parliament indicated it would this week deliberate procedures for impeachment. Corruption allegations have tarnished Zuma's image as well as eroded his support base and he was ordered last month to appoint a judicial inquiry into the alleged graft within 30 days. The beleaguered leader has faced growing pressure to resign before his term as president ends in 2019. Zuma's announcement comes the day before parliament is to take up a draft of a process for removing the nation's president from office. The Constitutional Court had ruled nearly two weeks ago that MPs failed to hold Zuma...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Two trains collided near South Africa's biggest city Johannesburg on Tuesday, lightly injuring more than 200 people, less than a week after a rail crash killed 19 passengers. "Human error" was responsible for the accident, which occurred at Germiston, east of Johannesburg, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) of South Africa said. It said a train was authorised to enter the station while another one was still there, "which subsequently resulted in a rear-end collision." A total of 226 people were...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
A woman in South Africa bit the penis of a man who raped her in front of her five-year-old child, police said Wednesday as they searched for the "severely injured" attacker. The pregnant woman was hitch-hiking with her child in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga on Monday when two men gave her a lift, pointed a gun at her and drove their car into bushes. "One of the men forcefully raped her at knifepoint in front of her child", Mpumalanga...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The new leader of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity on Monday as factions within the party become increasingly divided over the future of President Jacob Zuma. There is widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state within weeks. Ramaphosa, who is also the country’s deputy president, publicly supports Zuma. Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest last month as investors bet he will tackle rampant political corruption and implement economic reforms. Zuma’s term doesn’t officially...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Around 200 people were injured on Tuesday when two passenger trains collided in a suburb of South Africa’s main city Johannesburg, emergency services network ER24 said. “The exact details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities are on the scene and will be launching an investigation into the matter,” ER24 said in a statement. No fatalities were reported in the accident, which took place days after more than a dozen people were killed and...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A South African charity said Tuesday it had received proof that a freelance photographer kidnapped in Syria was alive, as his family prepared to mark one year since his capture. Shiraaz Mahomed was kidnapped on January 10 last year travelling to the Turkish border from a hospital supported by the Gift of the Givers charity in the Syrian town of Darkouch, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Aleppo. Gift of the Givers said that no ransom demand had been made...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African tribal leader has agreed to a more transparent structure for a 175 million rand ($14 million) community trust funded by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a move that aims to curb unrest around the firm’s most profitable mine. The changes relate to the Mapela Trust, which was set up to fund development projects in communities around Amplats’ Mogalakwena operation, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine and the Anglo American unit’s main cash spinner. The structure...

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(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Cape Town will next month slash its individual daily water consumption limit by 40 percent to 50 litres, the mayor said Thursday, as the city battles its worst drought in a century. Mayor Patricia de Lille has warned that if rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved the normal water supply will be shut off. Instead residents will have to queue at standpipes for daily water rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons). "We have reached a point of no return... We can no longer ask people to stop wasting water -- we must force them," De Lille said as she announced a raft of tough new measures to fend-off the...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s drought-stricken Cape Town told residents on Wednesday they would need to cut their daily water consumption by almost half from next month as authorities scramble to prevent the city running out of water as soon as in April. Struggling to cope with its worst drought in a century, Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city and a major tourist hub, last cut water consumption targets in October but its mayor said on Wednesday that too few residents were paying them any heed. From Feb. 1, the target for water consumption per person would be lowered to 50 litres (13 gallons) from 87 litres a day, and the collective consumption target to 450 million litres from...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
As Cape Town suffers its worst drought in a century, residents were warned by the mayor on Tuesday that they face losing piped water to their homes by April 21. If rains do not materialise and drastic consumption reductions are not achieved by "Day Zero", the city's people face the prospect of queueing at standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (9.2 US gallons) of water. The city, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has enforced strict waste controls...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Two trains collided near South Africa's biggest city Johannesburg on Tuesday, lightly injuring more than 200 people, less than a week after a rail crash killed 19 passengers. "Human error" was responsible for the accident, which occurred at Germiston, east of Johannesburg, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) of South Africa said. It said a train was authorised to enter the station while another one was still there, "which subsequently resulted in a rear-end collision." A total of 226 people were...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
A woman in South Africa bit the penis of a man who raped her in front of her five-year-old child, police said Wednesday as they searched for the "severely injured" attacker. The pregnant woman was hitch-hiking with her child in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga on Monday when two men gave her a lift, pointed a gun at her and drove their car into bushes. "One of the men forcefully raped her at knifepoint in front of her child", Mpumalanga...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The new leader of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa called for unity on Monday as factions within the party become increasingly divided over the future of President Jacob Zuma. There is widespread speculation that Ramaphosa and his allies are lobbying ANC members to oust Zuma as head of state within weeks. Ramaphosa, who is also the country’s deputy president, publicly supports Zuma. Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in an ANC leadership contest last month as investors bet he will tackle rampant political corruption and implement economic reforms. Zuma’s term doesn’t officially...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Around 200 people were injured on Tuesday when two passenger trains collided in a suburb of South Africa’s main city Johannesburg, emergency services network ER24 said. “The exact details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities are on the scene and will be launching an investigation into the matter,” ER24 said in a statement. No fatalities were reported in the accident, which took place days after more than a dozen people were killed and...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A South African charity said Tuesday it had received proof that a freelance photographer kidnapped in Syria was alive, as his family prepared to mark one year since his capture. Shiraaz Mahomed was kidnapped on January 10 last year travelling to the Turkish border from a hospital supported by the Gift of the Givers charity in the Syrian town of Darkouch, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Aleppo. Gift of the Givers said that no ransom demand had been made...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of listeria in South Africa has jumped beyond 60 in the past month, health authorities said on Monday, adding they had closed a poultry abattoir where the bug that causes the disease had been detected. Since monitoring of the outbreak began last January, 720 laboratory-confirmed cases of food poisoning due to the disease, also known as listeriosis, have been reported, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said. That was up...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
The number of deaths from a year-long outbreak of listeriosis, caused by a food-borne bacteria, has jumped to 61, South Africa's health minister said on Monday. Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a naturally-occurring germ typically transferred through contaminated food, although it is readily treatable with antibiotics. A total of 727 cases have been confirmed since January 2017, Health Mnister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement. As of December 5, the confirmed death toll stood at 36, but has since...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
South African police launched a manslaughter investigation Friday following a train crash that killed at least 18 people and injured 254 others in one of the country's worst ever rail disasters. The passenger train, travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, smashed into a lorry at a level crossing near Kroonstad in central Free State province on Thursday and then burst into flames. The lorry driver, who the country's transport minister Joe Maswanganyi accused of "taking chances... that cost lots of lives", will be central to the probe.
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
A passenger train smashed into a truck at a level crossing in South Africa on Thursday, killing at least 18 people, injuring 254 and throwing several carriages off the rails. Flames ripped through the twisted wreckage and choking black smoke rose into the air as desperate passengers clambered out of the train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg to escape the inferno. Tiaan Esterhuizen, who was travelling on the train as he returned from holiday, attempted to rescue three women...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
A South African tourist was killed and 12 other people were injured when a hot air balloon crashed near Egypt's ancient city of Luxor on Friday, a health ministry official said. Sharif Wadie, the assistant health minister in charge of emergency services, told AFP there were no other casualties but did not elaborate on the extent of the passengers' injuries. Their nationalities were not immediately clear. Tourists often take early morning hot air balloon rides over the city and the ancient Egyptian temples and relics in neighbouring areas. One of the main attractions is the Karnak temple, which dates back thousands of years.
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - A hot air balloon crashed near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, killing a South African tourist on board and injuring several others on Friday, officials said. State media blamed the crash on poor weather conditions without elaborating. High winds and sandstorms hit regions across the country, clouding the skies at Cairo’s main airport and forcing the closure of a number of Red Sea ports. A South African man died and an Argentinian and two French tourists...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/18)
The bodies of a tourist and his guide have been recovered from South Africa's Table Mountain following an accident which trapped hundreds of people at the top of the popular attraction. The man, his local guide and a second tourist are reported to have been using ropes to scale the front of the Cape Town mountain when they fell on Monday. Rescuers then used the cable car to reach the surviving climber. But the bodies were not recovered until first light on Tuesday. Africa Live: Read more on this and other stories from around the continent The tourists are understood to be of Asian origin while the guide was a South African...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Two climbers were killed abseiling on Cape Town's Table Mountain on New Year's Day, with hundreds of tourists stranded on the summit for hours during the rescue effort, South African officials said Tuesday. The victims were one Japanese man, whose wife survived, and a local tour guide, according to local media, with about 30 rescuers involved in a dramatic 12-hour night operation. The cable car that takes tourists to the top of the mountain was used to rescue the surviving climber and remove the two bodies from the steep rock face after a helicopter was unable to reach the scene.
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
"Look at my spinach. That is the sand from the mine. The yellow one in the soil -- it's destroying everything," said Thabo Ngubane as he tended his small allotment in Soweto. In Johannesburg tens of thousands of poor South Africans like him spend their lives in the shadow of vast mine dumps, exposing them to toxic substances like arsenic, lead and uranium. The gold rush from 1886 that caused the imposing slag heaps to spring up around South Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has filed papers to South Africa's Constitutional Court appealing against his 13-year jail term for shooting dead his girlfriend, a lawyer for the victim's family said Tuesday. A court last month increased Pistorius's sentence for murdering Reeva Steenkamp to 13 years in the latest stage of a long court battle since his trial in 2014. Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the...

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(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
South Africa's central bank chief Lesetja Kganyago will take over as chair of the International Monetary Fund's policy advisory committee, the IMF announced Thursday. Kganyago, who has served as governor of the South African Reserve Bank since late 2014, takes on a three-year post as head of the International Monetary and Finance Committee. He replaces Agustin Carstens, former head of the Bank of Mexico, who resigned in December to take over as head of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). His first major role will be to oversee the IMF's Spring meeting in Washington in mid-April. The 24-member IMFC is the primary advisory body of the IMF Board of Governors on the principal policy issues...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
South Africa is fighting to revive its frayed clothing industry, once a crucial provider of jobs in a country suffering from high unemployment, as a flood of cheap imports forces local factories to shutter and lay off workers. Once the economic lifeblood of many small regional towns, the abundance of cheaper products from China has led to the loss of nearly two-thirds of the sector's jobs over the past two decades. "After being employed for 22 years we were informed that the factory would close down in eight weeks," said Vimla Padayachee, 46, who lost her job three years ago.
(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
South African prosecutors said Tuesday they are seeking $130 million from global consultancy McKinsey and a local firm linked to a graft scandal that has engulfed President Jacob Zuma. The announcement was the first move against the Gupta family that is accused of corrupt dealings with Zuma, including allegations it profited from lucrative government contracts and chose ministerial appointments. The local company, Trillian, was controlled by an associate of the Guptas at the time of the allegations in 2015 and...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court has authorized the freezing of 1.6 billion rand ($130 million) in assets earned by global consultancy McKinsey and a firm linked to friends of President Jacob Zuma, a source at the state prosecutors’ office told Reuters. The Pretoria High Court made the decision in December after a request by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to freeze the fees earned by McKinsey and local consultancy Trillian for advising South African power utility Eskom. Privately-held McKinsey, one of the world’s largest management consultancies, has already lost several clients over the contract. This month Zuma agreed to set up a commission of enquiry into allegations...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/09/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African tribal leader has agreed to a more transparent structure for a 175 million rand ($14 million) community trust funded by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a move that aims to curb unrest around the firm’s most profitable mine. The changes relate to the Mapela Trust, which was set up to fund development projects in communities around Amplats’ Mogalakwena operation, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine and the Anglo American unit’s main cash spinner. The structure...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/05/18)
JOHANNESBURG/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Steinhoff’s (SNHJ.J) finance chief stepped down from the role on Thursday to focus on helping the South African retailer plug a 2.4 billion euro ($2.9 billion) hole in its finances after an accounting scandal. The owner of more than 40 multinational retail brands including Conforama, Mattress Firm and Poundland, revealed the “accounting irregularity” last month along with the immediate departure of its chief executive. Its chairman briefly took the reins then also stepped down. “While the Group...
(Reuters 01/03/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand was firmer on the first trading day of 2018, buoyed by improved sentiment for emerging currencies and a sluggish dollar. At 0645 GMT, the rand was 0.24 percent firmer at 12.3500 per dollar, slightly changed from its 2-1/2-year high of 12.2400. The currency advanced by about 13 percent in 2017, making most of those gains after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president Jacob Zuma’s successor as head of the African National Congress (ANC) last Monday...
(The Associated Press 01/03/18)
A Kenyan official says suspected members of the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab have killed five police officers in the northern county of Mandera. North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said Wednesday the vehicle carrying the three police reservists and two administration police officers was attacked. He says several other officers were injured in a second attack on security officials who responded Tuesday evening along the Elwak-Kotulo road. Al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya since 2011, when Kenya deployed...
(Reuters 01/03/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Steinhoff will have to restate its 2015 accounts and maybe earlier figures, the South African retailer said on Tuesday, having already warned on its 2016 numbers. The owner of more than 40 retail brands including Conforama, Mattress Firm and Poundland is fighting for survival after flagging accounting irregularities last month and parting ways with its veteran chief executive, Markus Jooste. A review being carried out by accounting firm PwC now suggests that “accounting irregularities” may stretch beyond...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
The scandal-hit South African retail giant Steinhoff announced Tuesday it would restate some financial results for 2015 and 2016 amid a probe into accounting irregularities. Last month, Steinhoff revealed it was under criminal and tax investigations, with a reported six-billion-euro ($7-billion) hole in its accounts. "The 2016 and 2015 financial statements of Steinhoff Investment Holdings Limited will need to be restated and can no longer be relied upon," the company said in a statement. Steinhoff had been a darling of...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
Credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded debt held by embattled South Africa-based home retail giant Steinhoff on Thursday and warned of further downgrades amid "increasing pressure" on the company's cashflow. Moody's said in a statement it was cutting Steinhoff's credit rating from "B1", or speculative with a high credit risk, to "Caa1", or poor quality and a very high risk. Earlier this month, Steinhoff revealed it was under criminal and tax investigations over suspicions of accounting irregularities, with a reported six...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/17)
South African businessman Christo Wiese has resigned as chairman of retail giant Steinhoff following an accounting scandal that has engulfed the firm, the company said Friday. Steinhoff said Wiese had quit to avoid conflicts of interest as a probe into the company's finances was underway in Germany. Last week Steinhoff revealed it was under criminal and tax investigations over suspicions of accounting irregularities, with a reported six billion euro (seven billion dollar) hole in its accounts. The news sent the...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/17)
ArcelorMittal South Africa has chosen the former head of construction firm Aveng to take over as chief executive from next February, the steelmaker said on Monday. Kobus Verster, who was Aveng’s chief executive for nearly four years, served as the steelmaker’s head of finance from 2006 to 2010 and held various other senior positions at the South African unit of ArcelorMittal after 1990. Verster takes the reins from Wim de Klerk, who spent his two years at the helm cutting...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/17)
South African bourse operator, JSE Ltd, has launched in investigation into whether embattled retailer Steinhoff broke its disclosure rules, it said on Monday. Steinhoff is in the middle of an accounting scandal that has wiped off more billions of dollars off its market value.
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
South Africa's ailing economy grew by 2 percent in the third quarter, lifted by the agricultural sector which is recovering from a severe drought, official figures released on Tuesday showed. "The South African economy grew by 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017... down from a revised 2.8 percent in the second quarter," Statistics South Africa said in a statement. The agency said agriculture, mining and manufacturing were the "main drivers of the expansion" -- with increased corn and...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
LONDON (Reuters) - South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is planning to ask for two seats on the board of Lonmin by the end of 2017 and has suggested the platinum miner move its main listing to Johannesburg, its chief executive said. Lonmin, majority-owned by state-run PIC and listed in London since 1961, has been hobbled by persistently low platinum prices, rising costs and strikes, forcing it to tap investors three times in the last eight years. PIC, which manages...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Brian Joffe’s South African investment firm Long4Life (L4LJ.J) has agreed to buy Chill Beverages for at least 452 million rand ($33 million) in cash and shares, Long4Life said on Tuesday. Joffe, former chief executive of the conglomerate Bidvest (BVTJ.J), listed Long4Life in April and has since made a string of acquisitions, including sporting goods retailer Holdsport and beauty chain Sorbet. Chill, whose brands include energy drink Score and tonic Fitch & Leedes, has a manufacturing plant in...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/27/17)
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has directed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to identify concrete measures to urgently address the country’s economic challenges, the president’s office said on Monday. President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham The directive comes after S&P Global Ratings on Friday downgraded the country’s local currency debt to sub-investment grade, while Moody’s place the sovereign on review for downgrade.
(Reuters 11/24/17)
Ratings firm Fitch kept both South Africa’s local and foreign currency credit ratings unchanged at BB+, one notch below investment grade, with a stable outlook, the agency said on Thursday. In April, Fitch downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to sub-investment grade after Zuma abruptly fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, saying it would likely result in a change in economic policy direction. “The affirmation reflects that while a number of developments point to a weaker fiscal outlook and consequent faster...
(Bloomberg 11/24/17)
The blow to Johannesburg-traded stocks from a potential downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating is likely to be hardest in banks and retailers, the sectors most vulnerable to local shocks. S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service are scheduled to give their assessments later Friday. A cut in both companies’ ratings on South Africa’s local currency debt to below investment grade would trigger outflows from rand-denominated bonds and cause higher costs for local banks obliged to hold sovereign debt for...

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(AFP (eng) 01/16/18)
Virat Kohli led by example with a batting masterclass as India stayed in contention on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Monday. Captain Kohli hit a masterly 153 in India's first innings of 307 to stay in touch in Centurion, even though South Africa stretched a 28-run first-innings lead to 118 by scoring 90 for two in their second batting effort on a storm-shortened afternoon. India are slightly behind going into day four despite Kohli's innings and two early wickets from opening bowler Jasprit Bumrah, but they could justifiably feel that they were still in with a chance of levelling the three-match series following South Africa's 72-run...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Virat Kohli's India head for a gruelling tour of South Africa on Wednesday looking for a record-breaking tenth straight Test series triumph, but they will have to overcome a reputation for being bad travellers. India, who beat New Zealand, England and Australia in a powerful home season to consolidate their number one Test ranking, celebrated their last major away victory in 2008-2009 when they beat the Kiwis 1-0 in a three-Test series. "Looking forward to the South Africa tour, it's going to be a different challenge," said Rohit Sharma, who captained the Indian limited-overs side in Kohli's recent absence. "But I want to reiterate about our home season, it's never easy to beat anyone. We were challenged at different times...
(APA 12/22/17)
APA – Dakar (Sénégal) - Le coureur sud-africain Louis Meintjes de l'équipe UAE Emirates vient d’être désigné cycliste africain de la saison 2017 par un jury de spécialistes présidé par l’ancien champion français Bernard Hinault. Le sociétaire de l’équipe UAE Emiates devance le Rwandais Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) et l’Erythréen Merhawi Kudus. Lauréat l’année dernière, l’Erythréen Tesfom Okubamariam termine à la 8ème place. Louis Meintjes s’est distingué cette année en terminant notamment à la 8ème place au Tour de France...
(AFP 12/21/17)
Dale Steyn doesn't want to talk about the possibility of becoming South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker, he said during a steady comeback to long-form cricket on Wednesday. Steyn was not among the wickets for a South African Invitation team on the first day of a three-day day-night match against the touring Zimbabweans at Boland Park, but was happy with his rhythm ahead of an expected Test comeback against Zimbabwe in a day-night clash in Port Elizabeth, starting on Tuesday. Steyn,...
(AFP 12/21/17)
Scores in brief at close of play on the first day of a three-day, day-night match between a South African Invitation XI and the touring Zimbabweans at Boland Park on Wednesday: Zimbabweans 196 (Hamilton Masakadza 79; Lizaad Williams 3-12, Michael Cohen 3-21, Shaun von Berg 3-64) South African Invitation XI 55-3 (Temba Bavuma 35 not out; Kyle Jarvis 2-15) Match situation: SA Invitation XI trail by 141 runs with seven wickets remaining in the first innings
(AFP 12/20/17)
American Nana Akosoh-Bempah scored in his first start for Cape Town City to inflict a 1-0 defeat on leaders Mamelodi Sundowns Tuesday and open up the South African title race. The 20-year-old finished off a four-pass, box-to-box counter-attack on 27 minutes by pushing a cutback past Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria. It proved the only goal of a lively match at a venue better known for hosting Super Rugby side Northern Bulls and, occasionally, the...
(AFP 12/20/17)
South African Premiership table after Tuesday's match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Sundowns 14 9 1 4 23 10 28 Cape Town 15 7 3 5 17 15 24 Chiefs 15 5 7 3 13 9 22 Baroka 15 5 7 3 19 19 22 Free State 15 6 4 5 17 17 22 Pirates 15 4 8 3 11 11 20 Chippa 15 4 7 4 11 10 19 Celtic 13 5 4 4 12 12 19 Maritzburg 14 4 6 4 12 8 18 Arrows 15 3 9 3 17 16 18 SuperSport 10 4 3 3 11 9 15 AmaZulu 13 3 6 4 15 17 15 Polokwane 14 3 6 5 14 17 15 Platinum 15 3 6 6 9 15 15 Ajax 14 3 4 7 10 16 13 Wits 14 2 5 7 7 17 11
(AFP 12/20/17)
South African Premiership result Tuesday: Mamelodi Sundowns 0 Cape Town City 1 (Akosoh-Bempah 27) Playing Wednesday Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport Utd
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
India's captain and star batsman Virat Kohli will be rested for the one-day matches against Sri Lanka after the ongoing Test series ends, selectors said Monday. Kohli has stepped up calls in recent weeks for a break from cricket because of a packed calendar. India, the world's top Test nation, start a demanding tour of South Africa in January. "I'm not a robot, you can slice my skin and check if I still bleed," Kohli said before the Sri Lanka...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
At the 2012 London Olympics, before 80,000 roaring fans and a constellation of camera flashes, it took Oscar Pistorius 45.44 seconds to become a global icon. The South African's sprint around the 400m track was the first time in history that a double-amputee had raced at the Olympic Games. The race capped an Olympian triumph over adversity for Pistorius. His journey from disabled child to world-class athlete seemed to embody the very best of sporting endeavour and the human spirit...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
A South African appeals court on Friday more than doubled Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius' sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, bringing it up to 13 years and five months. Here is a timeline of events following the shooting on Valentine's Day in 2013, in a case that shocked the world. - Shot four times - February 14, 2013: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber. The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise. Porto midfielder Brahimi was lucky to still be on the field after escaping with a yellow card for head-butting Shehu 12 minutes from time. Nigeria went ahead on 62...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says his team have "knives to their throats" as they attempt an extraordinary qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Bottom-of-the-table Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Senegal in Polokwane and Dakar between Friday and Tuesday and must win both matches to snatch first place in Group D. Senegal top the table with eight points from four matches, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have six from five, and South Africa four from four. South Africa and Senegal...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South African prosecutors argued Friday that Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder must be increased, saying he failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend. The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday heard the state's case to lengthen the jail term of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius for murdering his girlfriend. Here is a timeline of events following the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. - 2013 - February 14: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home. February 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged,...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Competition Commission of South Africa has taken the South African Football Intermediaries Association (Safia) and 36 members of the body representing soccer agents to a tribunal in relation to alleged price-fixing in the sport. The commission referred the agents to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution following an investigation into their activities found that they were overcharging their clients by seven percent in defiance of a Fifa recommendation to charge only three percent. The body said...
(AFP 10/06/17)
South Africa's new Global T20 league will go ahead, Cricket South Africa pledged on Friday, but it is expected to lose money for the first two seasons. No broadcast deal has yet been signed but CSA vice-president and acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said negotiations were well-advanced. "It is just a matter of agreeing the finer details," he said. Moroe said a deal in the region of US $70-80 million (60 million euros-68 million euros) was being sought, but admitted...
(AFP 10/05/17)
La Nouvelle-Zélande, déjà assurée de conserver son titre dans le Rugby Championship, va malgré tout aligner sa meilleure équipe pour la dernière journée, samedi au Cap contre l'Afrique du Sud. Ainsi, les cinq joueurs qui avaient été ménagés la semaine passée contre l'Argentine (victoire 36-10) ont été rappelés, et le sélectionneur Steve Hansen devra juste se passer de Brodie Retallick, retourné auprès des siens en raison de problèmes familiaux. Hansen a souligné que même déjà titrés, les All Blacks ne...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/17)
The 2018 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed on either November 8 or November 9, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) said on Friday. The FSF said FIFA had decided on the possible dates for the rearranged game, with the initial 2-1 South Africa victory on November 12, 2016 having been chalked off after the match was manipulated by referee Joseph Lamptey. The Ghanaian awarded South Africa a controversial penalty in the original Group D encounter...
(Times Live 09/26/17)
There will be a familiar look about the Burkina Faso squad for next weekend’s Fifa World Cup qualifier against South Africa at FNB Stadium with a 24-man squad chosen‚ packed with regulars who have already had considerable experience against Bafana Bafana. The likes of Aristide Bance‚ Charles Kabore‚ Bakary Kone and the Traore brothers Alain and Bertrand are among those making the trip for the match on Saturday‚ October 7‚ But Jonathan Pitroipa will not make the trip to SA...

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(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
A coming-of-age film which explores the taboos around gay love and sex has won plaudits and awards abroad, and is now in the running for an Oscar. But back home in South Africa, the movie is under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups. The trailer alone led to its stars receiving death threats, and opponents have fought to stop it from being screened in local cinemas. "The Wound" delves into the world of ritual initiations in the country's Xhosa community, following the experiences of an initiate and two older men who all experience same-sex attraction. Acclaimed by critics, the film was last week...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Beauties from across the globe converged in Las Vegas Sunday, where Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, edged out her rivals from Colombia and Jamaica to take the crown. Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations. In the pageant's 66th year, nearly 100 women from around the world -- including first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal -- took part. The runner-up was actress Laura Gonzalez of Colombia, who was followed by second runner-up Davina Bennett of Jamaica. The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor to a din of squeals and cheers. American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey hosted the event for the...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
The sequel to Nelson Mandela's celebrated autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" will be released on Thursday after his unfinished draft was completed by a South African writer, his foundation announced. Titled "Dare not Linger", the book tells of Mandela's five years as president after the end of apartheid and the first multi-race elections in South Africa in 1994. "Long Walk to Freedom", published shortly after the election, was a global best-seller, selling more than 14 million copies, and was turned...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
The family of jailed Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius said Tuesday that it would pursue legal action over a coming US film about his murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In a statement, the Pistorius family said neither it nor the Steenkamps were consulted about the film, "Blade Runner Killer", which is set to premiere on the Lifetime network in the US on November 11. The athlete's family criticised the project for not being a "true reflection" of the shooting nor...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(The Citizen 08/25/17)
The unit will also investigate staff members who have undisclosed or unauthorised interests in companies that have done business with the public broadcaster. President Jacob Zuma has given the greenlight for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate any wrongdoing at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), his office said on Friday. The proclamation, signed by Zuma, gives the SIU the authority to investigate irregularities and criminality relating to the procurement of “goods, works or services or on behalf of...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
South Africa entered an economic recession in June, and the country’s unemployment rate is fast approaching 30 percent, according to the government statistics agency. But for the sellers of secondhand books, business has never been better. Eric Nofal, who has been selling used books for almost 30 years, shows a customer around his store in Johannesburg. He says he recently faced “intense” competition before launching his fifth bookshop in the city. “My ex-wife also wanted to open up a shop...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Africa has several new sites on the United Nations world heritage list, including an old royal capital in Angola, the Eritrean capital of Asmara and a desert area in South Africa that was inhabited during the Stone Age. UNESCO said this weekend at a meeting in Poland that Mbanza Kongo in northwest Angola was the capital of the Kongo kingdom, a largely independent state between the 14th and 19th centuries. The U.N. cultural agency says Asmara, which experienced large-scale construction...
(Xinhuanet 06/01/17)
China-South Africa relations are expected to be lifted to new heights with increasing cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two BRICS countries. Lucas Banda, an international relations expert at the Midrand University, cited the tourism sector as a highlight of the trend. "Chinese arrivals were up 93 percent in 2016," Banda told Xinhua. Chinese tourists to South Africa increased by 56 percent during the period from January to October in 2016 compared to a year earlier, showed data from South...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/26/17)
The exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the widely-held view that humanity’s evolutionary roots lay in Africa. An exhibit of the largest collection of fossils of close human relatives ever to go on public display opened on Thursday in South Africa, not far from the caves where they were unearthed. Launched on Africa Day in an area named “The Cradle of Humankind,” the exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Business Day 05/10/17)
The SABC wants the Broadcasting Act to be changed so that those watching TV via electronic devices can be charged a TV licence fee. The shock proposal was made by acting CEO James Aguma in Parliament on Wednesday while presenting a corporate plan for the 2017-18 financial year to the portfolio committee on communications. The cash-strapped SABC is scrambling to find new revenue streams amid plummeting audience rates that are repelling advertisers who used to spend hundreds of million of...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
South African visual artist William Kentridge, best known for his animated films of shape-shifting charcoal drawings, won on Thursday Spain's top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award. The prize jury hailed Kentridge, 62, as "one of the most multifaceted innovative artists on the international scene" in its citation for the 50,000 euros ($57,000) award. His work "has expressed emotions and metaphors related to the history and reality of his country which nonetheless transcend the latter and raise essential questions regarding the human condition," it added. Born in Johannesburg in 1955, Kentridge's parents were both lawyers specialised in defending the victims of the apartheid white minority rule in South Africa.
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
About two years ago, blues-folk artist Alice Phoebe Lou gave a performance in a park in Berlin, looking for donations as a street entertainer. A listener invited her to perform at a function. Her career has since taken off. Last year, she released her debut record, and on Wednesday she played one of the world's premier music festivals: the South by Southwest event in Texas. Lou is just one of a growing list of South African musicians who've felt compelled...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Portia Lekgoto faced a dilemma: how to take her three-year-old daughter to a doctor without missing a day of work while waiting in line at one of only two public health clinics in the South African shantytown of Diepsloot. She decided to take her daughter to Quali Health, a new private clinic that a friend had told her about. While she had to pay 250 rand ($19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Esther Mahlangu's colourful geometric artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world, but she remains in her South African village unfazed by fame and determined to preserve her ethnic Ndebele culture. The 81-year-old painter and mural artist earned an international reputation with her Ndebele motifs at a time when the art scene in her home country was focused on contemporary styles. Now Johannesburg is hosting a major exhibition for Mahlangu, an elderly black woman with no art training who rose...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
A jury in Warsaw on Monday named South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach as the recipient of the 2017 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, named after the anti-communist Polish poet and philosopher. "I'm pleased that this year the jury has chosen a poet who combines great talent with the attitude of an uncompromising man who sides with the oppressed," said Katarzyna Herbert, the widow of the poet who died in 1998, as she announced the winner. Born in...

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(BBC News Africa 01/03/18)
The bodies of a tourist and his guide have been recovered from South Africa's Table Mountain following an accident which trapped hundreds of people at the top of the popular attraction. The man, his local guide and a second tourist are reported to have been using ropes to scale the front of the Cape Town mountain when they fell on Monday. Rescuers then used the cable car to reach the surviving climber. But the bodies were not recovered until first light on Tuesday. Africa Live: Read more on this and other stories from around the continent The tourists are understood to be of Asian origin while the guide was a South African...
(BBC News Africa 11/24/17)
A South African court has increased Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's jail sentence for killing his girlfriend to 13 years and five months. Prosecutors had argued that the six-year term for murdering Reeva Steenkamp was "shockingly light". Ms Steenkamp's parents were "emotional" as they watched the ruling at home on TV, a spokeswoman said. "They feel there has been justice for Reeva. She can now rest in peace," Tania Koen told Associated Press. "But at the same time, people think this is the end of the road for them... the fact is they still live with Reeva's loss every day," Ms Koen said. Oscar Pistorius claimed he shot dead Ms Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013 after mistaking her for a...
(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
South Africa’s government is open to talks over the country’s much-criticized mining charter but the industry must do more to benefit the black majority, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said. The mining industry, represented by the Chamber of Mines, has rejected the government’s new rules, saying extra levies and black-economic empowerment requirements threaten to curb the appeal of investing in projects. A judicial review of the legislation is scheduled to be held in December, in which Zwane must justify the...
(Financial Times 09/28/17)
Cosatu backs Ramaphosa to succeed the president as ANC leader. South Africa’s biggest trade union federation brought thousands of workers on to the streets of cities to protest against corruption under President Jacob Zuma, and demand that Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, replace him. Wednesday’s national strike, organised by Cosatu, which has 1.7m members, and the South African Communist party, took place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and other big cities across the country. That the protest was even called for...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
As the battle to succeed South African President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress grows increasingly fractious, party Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize is emerging as a possible compromise choice to keep the continent’s oldest political movement from tearing itself apart. While the race for the top job is widely seen as a head-to-head contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Mkhize, a 61-year-old medical doctor, has two advantages: he’s stayed above the infighting and has strong support in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nation’s nine provinces.
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
South Africa’s potential bailout of the state-owned airline could place pressure on the nation’s finances because other government-run companies that are cash-strapped and mismanaged may come to expect the same, Moody’s Investors Service said. “It generates moral hazards because then larger state-owned enterprises see it and there perhaps will be the perception that the government will always come and bail out, without reforms,” Zuzana Brixiova, Moody’s senior vice president for sovereign risk and its lead analyst for South Africa, said...
(AL Jazeera 09/28/17)
Trade union confederation says time has come for 'workers and citizens to stand up and push back against this rot'. Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in cities across South Africa to protest against government corruption, state capture and job losses. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), both in alliance with the ruling ANC, say the strike on Wednesday is largely against corruption, but the call to take to...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he won’t ask Africa’s biggest money manager to provide funds to bail out state-owned companies that will put the pensions of government workers at risk. “There is no attempt to dip into pensions for reasons that are unscrupulous,” Gigaba told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday after a meeting with the board of the Public Investment Corp. The event was scheduled after media reports said that the National Treasury is seeking to use PIC...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
South Africa’s biggest labor organization urged workers to strike on Wednesday to protest against what it called “the cancer of corruption” spreading among business and government leaders and threatening the nation’s democracy under President Jacob Zuma. The action is the boldest step yet by the Congress of South African Trade Unions to pile pressure on Zuma, whom it helped to win control of the ruling African National Congress in 2007 and then turned against after he fired Pravin Gordhan as...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
The South African High Court in Pretoria has restricted access to 1.75 billion rand ($130 million) in rehabilitation-trust accounts for two mines owned by companies linked to the politically connected Gupta family, according to The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, a civic action group. The interim order directs India’s Bank of Baroda to continue to hold the trust funds of the Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines in accounts in the trusts’ names, the group said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
David Mabuza, premier of South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, said the ruling African National Congress needs to coalesce around a unifying candidate at a December conference where leaders will be elected to end infighting that is damaging the party. Factions backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former head of the African Union and an ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, and Cyril Ramaphosa, the country’s deputy president, are “far apart,” Mabuza said on Monday on The Justice Factor, a program screened by...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
South Africa’s Treasury is pressuring the continent’s biggest money manager to provide as much as 100 billion rand ($7.6 billion) to fund struggling state companies, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The Public Investment Corp., which manages state-employee pension funds and has about 1.86 trillion rand in assets, has been asked by the Treasury to buy its entire 12-billion-rand stake in Telkom SA SOC Ltd. to pay for a bailout of South African Airways, said the people,...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
Much of the focus around Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal’s pursuit of Anglo American Plc has been the company’s South African operations. But Botswana could be similarly important. Botswana is the source of about two-thirds of Anglo’s diamonds and the country is a major stakeholder in De Beers, the world’s biggest gem producer. There are few countries as dependent on a single commodity as Botswana is with diamonds and the nation is highly protective of the industry. So far Botswana...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has instructed Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to begin legal action against companies including McKinsey & Co. over their involvement in disputed contracts at the country’s state-owned electricity company. Brown ordered Eskom to start taking legal steps against consultancy firms McKinsey and Trillian Capital Partners Ltd., as well as suspended acting Chief Executive Officer Matshela Koko and Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh, who is on special leave, her spokesman, Colin Cruywagen, said by phone...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Africa’s biggest fund manager may be dumped by a labor federation representing 230,000 South African state workers because it’s concerned that the funds of its members may be used to bail out mismanaged state-owned companies. The Federation of Unions of South Africa, the country’s second-largest labor union grouping, is considering replacing the state-owned Public Investment Corp. with privately owned fund managers to oversee the pension funds of the state workers, including nurses and teachers, that it represents. “There is nothing...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Companies controlled by the Guptas lost a court bid to prevent Bank of Baroda from shutting their accounts, which would leave the politically connected family without banking services in South Africa from the end of this month. Judge Hans Fabricius dismissed the application of 20 companies linked to the Gupta family and awarded costs against them at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday. The Bank of Baroda was the family’s last hope after a series of lenders, including South Africa’s...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
With its surprise decision to leave rates on hold on Thursday, South Africa’s central bank may have shut its policy-easing window. Forward-rate agreements, which had been pricing in a 25 basis-point reduction in the benchmark rate this year, now suggest the South African Reserve Bank will be forced to stay put as central banks around the world move toward tighter policy. The rate on contracts starting in three months jumped 19 basis points, moving to within 10 points from the...

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