Afrique du Sud | Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017

Afrique du Sud

(Gulfnews 03/25/17)
Legoete saw people with no medical insurance using private care in Bengaluru hospital. 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 (Dh73 or $19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to now drop my daughter off at her granny with the medication we have been given and then I will go...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A private South African dormitory housing white-only Afrikaans-speaking students attending the University of Pretoria on Thursday defended its controversial race-based policy and rejected allegations of racism. Named "De Goede Hoop Koshuis" -- or "The Good Hope Residence" -- the privately-owned digs opened in February to Christian students who speak Afrikaans. Speaking to Radio 702, facility coordinator Janli Sonntag said the aim was to preserve Christian values and Afrikaans culture, rejecting claims its policy was discriminative. She said Afrikaans-speaking students had recently been targeted by other students on campus over their language and accused of being racist.
(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
On March 17th, 2017, the South African government has revealed in the Government Gazette a bill to prevent foreigners from owning agricultural lands in the country. Entitled “Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill”, the bill should, according to Bloomberg, be submitted to the parliament for approval in April. Though it appears as a mean to tackle the growing issue of land grabs in Africa, the measure seems to bear a political message to those who are against the Zuma government...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The South African government on Friday condemned a "resurgence of racist posts" on social media and vowed to pursue the offenders. "Whilst government respects freedom of expression, it will not allow racism to disrupt the gains we have made as a country," the government said in a statement in response to the recent spate of racist utterances on social media. In the latest incident, a Limpopo man posted on Facebook about crowded beaches in Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, while calling...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. The South African government on Wednesday suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazil meat scandal. South Africa is joining a chorus of other countries after China, the European Union, South Korea and Chile on Monday announced restrictions of red meat imports from Brazil due to recent evidence showing that Brazilian meat-packers have been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, especially to export markets.
(The Citizen 03/23/17)
Free State and Limpopo’s provincial executive committees have also endorsed Ramaphosa. The Gauteng chapter of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has joined the increasing number of the federation’s structures to endorse ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as the party’s next president and subsequently president of the republic. Cosatu Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said the provincial executive committee agreed with the decision of the federation’s central executive committee, which identified Ramaphosa to take...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
A Johannesburg woman was allegedly raped in the back of a taxi in front of her 10-year-old son on Sunday. Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Maloban e has called on women who have been sexually assaulted by taxi drivers to come forward and report the crimes, and she’s urging taxi drivers to point out rapists. The MEC held a meeting with taxi associations in Johannesburg on Thursday. Eyewitness News revealed the latest case on Thursday morning that a Johannesburg...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
A boy of 10 was forced to lie face down while his mother was subjected to a four-hour rape ordeal in a Johannesburg taxi, reports from South Africa say. He and his mother were allegedly tricked into boarding the minibus taxi before she was assaulted and ordered to hand over her bank card and PIN number by the three armed occupants. It is thought to be the latest in a string of attacks by the gang. The first reports of...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
China's Sinopec (600028.SS) (0386.HK) will pay almost $1 billion for a 75 percent stake in Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana to secure its first major refinery in Africa, the companies announced on Wednesday. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, said the assets include a 100,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban as well as 820 petrol stations and other oil storage facilities. Chevron Global...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
The Higher Education Department says it believes the Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help in addressing NSFAS shortfalls. The Department of Higher Education and Training says that while it believes funding for poor students is feasible in South Africa, it is uncertain whether it is possible for all students. It has made submissions at the fees commission of inquiry into higher education and training. The department says it believes the newly piloted Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria. South African business people who participated in a trade and investment mission to Ghana have expressed confidence that they will soon see tangible results from the trip, the department of trade and industry (dti) said on Wednesday. The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria, which runs until Saturday, March 25. The...
(Premium Times 03/23/17)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said the latest fracas in South Africa, in which two Nigerians were involved, was not a xenophobic attack. The ministry in a statement by its spokesperson, Clement Aduku, in Abuja, said that there was no reported loss of live during the incident. It expressed concern that the incident came barely few days when both Nigerian and South African Governments successfully proffered solution to xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa. It said that...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
South Africa's police chief said Wednesday three men had been arrested over a mysterious weekend break-in at the offices of the country's top judge, where 15 computers were stolen. The crime caused a public and political storm with the opposition calling it a attack on the judicial system, as the theft occurred hours after the Constitutional Court headed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivered a scathing ruling against the ANC government over welfare payments. The computers containing sensitive information about 250 judges were stolen on Saturday during a burglary at Mogoeng's offices in Johannesburg.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a robbery where 15 computers containing information on South Africa's judges and court officials were stolen, acting national police commissioner said on Wednesday. Khomotso Phahlane said the three suspects will appear in court this morning and more arrests were expected. "At this stage we do not have information on whether it was and inside job or not.... the investigation is still at the preliminary level," Phahlane said. "We can't tell what the motive is at this stage." The office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called the crime a huge setback
(Financial Times 03/22/17)
South African police have arrested three men over a break-in at the offices of the country’s chief justice which has shaken confidence in the independence of its judiciary. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national police commissioner, said on Wednesday that despite the arrests, the police had not yet recovered computers stolen from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office which contained sensitive personal files on judges. Saturday’s break-in has raised the alarm among civil-society groups and opposition parties in South Africa as it...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
South Africa has proposed a new law banning foreigners directly buying agricultural land in the country as the government seeks to boost ownership for the black majority. Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties or the land should be majority owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17. The ruling African National...

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(Gulfnews 03/25/17)
Legoete saw people with no medical insurance using private care in Bengaluru hospital. 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 (Dh73 or $19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to now drop my daughter off at her granny with the medication we have been given and then I will go...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A private South African dormitory housing white-only Afrikaans-speaking students attending the University of Pretoria on Thursday defended its controversial race-based policy and rejected allegations of racism. Named "De Goede Hoop Koshuis" -- or "The Good Hope Residence" -- the privately-owned digs opened in February to Christian students who speak Afrikaans. Speaking to Radio 702, facility coordinator Janli Sonntag said the aim was to preserve Christian values and Afrikaans culture, rejecting claims its policy was discriminative. She said Afrikaans-speaking students had recently been targeted by other students on campus over their language and accused of being racist.
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The South African government on Friday condemned a "resurgence of racist posts" on social media and vowed to pursue the offenders. "Whilst government respects freedom of expression, it will not allow racism to disrupt the gains we have made as a country," the government said in a statement in response to the recent spate of racist utterances on social media. In the latest incident, a Limpopo man posted on Facebook about crowded beaches in Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, while calling...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
A Johannesburg woman was allegedly raped in the back of a taxi in front of her 10-year-old son on Sunday. Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Maloban e has called on women who have been sexually assaulted by taxi drivers to come forward and report the crimes, and she’s urging taxi drivers to point out rapists. The MEC held a meeting with taxi associations in Johannesburg on Thursday. Eyewitness News revealed the latest case on Thursday morning that a Johannesburg...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
A boy of 10 was forced to lie face down while his mother was subjected to a four-hour rape ordeal in a Johannesburg taxi, reports from South Africa say. He and his mother were allegedly tricked into boarding the minibus taxi before she was assaulted and ordered to hand over her bank card and PIN number by the three armed occupants. It is thought to be the latest in a string of attacks by the gang. The first reports of...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
The Higher Education Department says it believes the Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help in addressing NSFAS shortfalls. The Department of Higher Education and Training says that while it believes funding for poor students is feasible in South Africa, it is uncertain whether it is possible for all students. It has made submissions at the fees commission of inquiry into higher education and training. The department says it believes the newly piloted Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help...
(Premium Times 03/23/17)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said the latest fracas in South Africa, in which two Nigerians were involved, was not a xenophobic attack. The ministry in a statement by its spokesperson, Clement Aduku, in Abuja, said that there was no reported loss of live during the incident. It expressed concern that the incident came barely few days when both Nigerian and South African Governments successfully proffered solution to xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa. It said that...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
South Africa's police chief said Wednesday three men had been arrested over a mysterious weekend break-in at the offices of the country's top judge, where 15 computers were stolen. The crime caused a public and political storm with the opposition calling it a attack on the judicial system, as the theft occurred hours after the Constitutional Court headed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivered a scathing ruling against the ANC government over welfare payments. The computers containing sensitive information about 250 judges were stolen on Saturday during a burglary at Mogoeng's offices in Johannesburg.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a robbery where 15 computers containing information on South Africa's judges and court officials were stolen, acting national police commissioner said on Wednesday. Khomotso Phahlane said the three suspects will appear in court this morning and more arrests were expected. "At this stage we do not have information on whether it was and inside job or not.... the investigation is still at the preliminary level," Phahlane said. "We can't tell what the motive is at this stage." The office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called the crime a huge setback
(Financial Times 03/22/17)
South African police have arrested three men over a break-in at the offices of the country’s chief justice which has shaken confidence in the independence of its judiciary. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national police commissioner, said on Wednesday that despite the arrests, the police had not yet recovered computers stolen from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office which contained sensitive personal files on judges. Saturday’s break-in has raised the alarm among civil-society groups and opposition parties in South Africa as it...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
South African airport customs officials have confiscated male sexual enhancement tablets worth 20.6 million rand ($1.63 million) en route to Swaziland from India, the revenue service said on Monday. Customs officers found 80,000 tablets and 126,000 oral jellies in transit sheds at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport on Sunday. The pills were wrapped in brown sacks sent from Mumbai. "These tablets are restricted and controlled substances and must have permits when being imported," the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said in...
(AL Jazeera 03/21/17)
 
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Property developers buying and renovating old buildings are driving up prices and rents. Some poor families in Cape Town face being moved out, and it's evoking painful memories of apartheid in South Africa. Al Jazeera's Tania Page reports from Wolf River, Cape Town. Tania Page
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
South Africa's police minister will fight a court order to remove the head of an elite police investigation unit, popularly known as the Hawks, after the court ruled his appointment unlawful, media said on Monday. Berning Ntlemeza was appointed in 2015 to lead the powerful Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, but two domestic non-government bodies, Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation, applied to the High Court to have Ntlemeza removed on the grounds that he was unfit for...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
South Africa, long a haven for migrants from across Africa, is trying to update its immigration policy with a number of changes, which one official says aims to strike a balance between being welcoming of immigrants and keeping the nation safe. Among the policy changes being considered: the creation of processing centers for asylum-seekers along South Africa’s border; the end of an automatic path from long-term residency to citizenship; the introduction of a points-based system intended to attract highly skilled immigrants and the elimination of some visa requirements for African citizens.
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
A South African court on Friday ordered the dismissal of the head of the police's elite unit, delivering another stinging ruling against President Jacob Zuma's government. Berning Ntlemeza was named as head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, which handles serious corruption and organised crime. But High Court Judge Peter Mabuse ruled that Ntlemeza's appointment in 2015 was unlawful and must be "reviewed and set aside." The Hawks were not immediately available to comment on whether Ntlemeza would be sacked or if he would appeal the decision. An earlier court judgement had found Ntlemeza to be "dishonest, lacking in integrity and dishonourable"
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
A South African court Friday gave a private company a one-year extension of its contract to distribute vital welfare grants to millions of people, easing fears of a payments disruption. A dispute arose after nearly a third of the country's welfare beneficiaries faced problems when a government agency failed to secure new terms before the contract expired this month. Judge Johan Froneman of the Constitutional Court ordered the Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the company, Cash Paymaster Services, to "ensure payment of social grants to grant beneficiaries from 1 April 2017 for a period of 12 months." Froneman also criticised Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini for not showing "interest" in making
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
South Africa's High Court in Pretoria said on Friday that the appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as head of an elite police investigation unit is unlawful and must be revoked. Ntlemeza was appointed in 2015 to lead the powerful Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks. Critics have accused the unit of sometimes carrying out politically motivated probes to discredit those who have fallen out of favor with President Jacob Zuma and his inner circle. "Our take is very simple: we will abide by the ruling," Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told Reuters.
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...

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(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase puts Sinopec in the ranks of international oil companies including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, Kuwait Petroleum and PTT of Thailand that operate petrol stations outside their borders. It also marks a shift among Chinese...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its 2015 losses. “While the fundamentals are improving, which would suggest rand strength, we’ve probably seen quite a lot of it already,” said Hywel George, director of investments at Cape Town-based Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa, which oversees about 600...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
On March 17th, 2017, the South African government has revealed in the Government Gazette a bill to prevent foreigners from owning agricultural lands in the country. Entitled “Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill”, the bill should, according to Bloomberg, be submitted to the parliament for approval in April. Though it appears as a mean to tackle the growing issue of land grabs in Africa, the measure seems to bear a political message to those who are against the Zuma government...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. The South African government on Wednesday suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazil meat scandal. South Africa is joining a chorus of other countries after China, the European Union, South Korea and Chile on Monday announced restrictions of red meat imports from Brazil due to recent evidence showing that Brazilian meat-packers have been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, especially to export markets.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
China's Sinopec (600028.SS) (0386.HK) will pay almost $1 billion for a 75 percent stake in Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana to secure its first major refinery in Africa, the companies announced on Wednesday. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, said the assets include a 100,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban as well as 820 petrol stations and other oil storage facilities. Chevron Global...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria. South African business people who participated in a trade and investment mission to Ghana have expressed confidence that they will soon see tangible results from the trip, the department of trade and industry (dti) said on Wednesday. The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria, which runs until Saturday, March 25. The...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
South Africa has proposed a new law banning foreigners directly buying agricultural land in the country as the government seeks to boost ownership for the black majority. Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties or the land should be majority owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17. The ruling African National...
(Eye Witness News 03/21/17)
Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. A class action lawsuit in the UK over the VW emissions scandal could spark similar cases in other countries, including South Africa. More than 35,000 people in Britain are being represented with the number expected to grow to 100,000 or more. The carmaker used technology to misrepresent emission levels of nitrogen oxide. Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. “People feel...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(New Zimbabwe 03/17/17)
Zimbabwe owes South Africa's power utility ESKOM more than $12 million and is struggling to clear the debt, it has emerged. Harare does not generate enough electricity to meet its needs and relies on imports from the region to plug the supply gap. However, with its economy in the tank and government struggling with its finances, supplies from the region often come under threat due to unpaid bills. The country's supply deal with Eskom is nearing its end and energy...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/17/17)
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is nearing an agreement to buy a majority stake in Chevron Corp's South African assets, which are estimated to be worth $1 billion, two people familiar with the transaction said. The sources said Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, was the last bidder remaining, and close to a deal with Chevron after an auction that spanned more than a year. The people declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/16/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday there was no "crisis" as doubts mount over the government's ability to make welfare payments on April 1 to 17 million needy people because of a service-provider dispute. Dominated by more than 11 million child support grants, the welfare system is a lifeline for South Africa's most vulnerable. Each month long queues form at pay points across the country as people wait for the money that is often the difference between going...
(News24 03/15/17)
Although fuel prices are set to drop in April, most of the benefit of the decreases will be wiped out by the increases in the general fuel and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levies. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. Based on the current data, the AA is predicting that petrol will decrease by 51c per litre, diesel by about 27c/litre, and illuminating paraffin...
(Eye Witness News 03/15/17)
The SAPS told Parliament’s police portfolio committee that government’s approach to the litigation is aimed at reaching settlements of the claims as quickly as possible. The state is facing claims amounting to more than R1 billion arising out of the Marikana massacre four years ago. Thirty-four miners lost their lives after police opened fire on protesting mineworkers near the Rustenburg mine. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate are updating Parliament’s police portfolio committee on their...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday he was "fairly confident" social security payments will be paid on April 1 despite a service-provider dispute that has cast doubt over the welfare benefits. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is scrambling to ensure that as many as 17 million people continue to receive their money, despite concerns that retaining the existing service provider is both unlawful and costly. "I am fairly confident grants will be paid," Gordhan told...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
The crisis swirling around South Africa’s system of welfare payments to the poorest third of its people has become a game of chicken. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini insists that Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. must continue to distribute the payments after its contract, which the Constitutional Court ruled illegal, expires on March 31. An inter-ministerial task force voided a new agreement between the South African Social Security Agency and Net1, and will conduct future talks with the company. Net1 said...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
South Africa’s banks have gone on the offensive after being criticized by some politicians over their lending practices and records in addressing racial inequality. Attacks on the lenders have been led by President Jacob Zuma, who’s accused them of monopolizing the financial services industry, and questioned whether they colluded when closing accounts belonging to members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are his friends and are in business with his son. Parliament’s finance and trade and industry committees held hearings...
(eNCA 03/14/17)
CNN reports that the South African government is planning to implement a sugar tax to help curb the country's growing obesity epidemic. There is a marked increase in obesity and overweight rates across developing countries, surpassing the rate of obesity in developed states. The Overseas Development Institute says the number of overweight and obese people in the developing world has grown from 250 million in 1980 to a billion in recent years. South Africa isn't the only country that is...

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(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
South African football was embroiled in another scandal on Monday when FIFA said the national team's World Cup qualifying win over Senegal last year was fixed, leaving the legacy of the country's hosting of the 2010 finals in more turmoil. In banning Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life, world soccer's governing body said the outcome of South Africa's 2-1 home win in African Group D in November had been contrived. The official was found guilty of unlawfully influencing the match result after handing South Africa a soft penalty for handball just before halftime and allowing a second goal in controversial circumstances from a quickly taken free-kick soon after in a qualifying match for the 2018...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
South Africa’s government has expressed disappointment at the decision to strip Durban of the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, saying the budget it had guaranteed for the event was sufficient. The Commonwealth Games Federation said on Monday it was seeking a new host because the coastal city had failed to deliver on the promises it had made in its bid, including on governance, venues, funding and risk management. But South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, said the...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Commonwealth Games chiefs said Monday they were looking for a new venue for the 2022 edition after announcing scheduled hosts Durban had failed to meet "key obligations". Last month, South Africa sports minister Fikile Mbalula indicated the government might withdraw its financial support because of the cost of staging the multi-sport event, saying "we cannot live beyond our means". Following a meeting in London, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said Monday: "The CGF is actively exploring alternative options,...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
South Africa will gamble on the fitness of speedster Morne Morkel when the first Test against New Zealand begins in Dunedin on Wednesday. With cool, blustery conditions expected and a green hue to the wicket, New Zealand would not confirm their likely line-up Tuesday, leaving open the option of playing a second spin bowler. But South African captain Faf du Plessis felt that one spinner and Morkel slotting in as the third seamer behind Vern Philander and Kagiso Rabada would...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
Cape Town City went top of the South African Premiership Friday after completing a double over title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns by winning 1-0 at home. Lebogang Manyama became the co-leading league scorer on 11 goals after hooking the ball over goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands midway through the second half. Cape Town wasted several other great scoring chances while Sundowns had two goals disallowed because of offside and handball. It was the third league loss of the season for African champions Sundowns and...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that host city Durban may not be able to hold the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to financial pressures. "I don't want to raise your expectations and say everything looks good‚ it doesn't. We are unable to agree on the fundamentals," Mbalula told South African media at a press conference in Cape Town. Despite successfully bidding for the Games, South Africa has been unable to come to agreement with the Commonwealth Games...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
Fikile Mbalula says cost challenges may mean Durban could lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday Durban may lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to cost challenges. In December South Africa's officials said it remained "fully committed" to hosting the games despite falling short of requirements. Durban was the only city with a confirmed bid after Edmonton in Canada withdrew in February.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
A record-breaking century from Ross Taylor steered New Zealand to a gripping six-run win over South Africa in the second one-day international in Christchurch on Wednesday. Taylor scored an unbeaten 102 as New Zealand batted first and set a target of 290, with South Africa coming close thanks to a late 26-ball half-century from Dwaine Pretorius. The result snaps a 12-match ODI winning streak for South Africa and levels the five-match series in New Zealand at 1-1. Taylor completed his...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
Fallen South African giants Orlando Pirates named Swede Kjell Jonevret as coach Monday in succession to Turk Muhsin Ertugral. The 54-year-old Scandinavian inherits a team lying 10th in the league after suffering a club record 6-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. Pirates only realistic chance of success this season is winning the South African FA Cup, which begins next month. "I have visited South Africa several times and watched local matches," he told reporters after the announcement. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me with one of the biggest names in African club football."
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Belgian Hugo Broos, who guided Cameroon to a shock Africa Cup of Nations title 11 days ago, has applied for the vacant post of South Africa coach. His name was among those released Thursday by the South African Football Association (SAFA) for one of the most sought after football jobs in Africa. Italian Roberto Mancini, manager of Manchester City when they won the English Premier League five seasons ago, is another candidate. Hassan Shehata, coach of Egypt when they won...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Teammates from South Africa's 1995 World Cup winning squad carried the coffin of Joost van der Westhuizen into his memorial service on Friday in front of several hundred mourners. Van der Westhuizen, hailed as one of the greatest rugby players of the modern era, died on Monday aged 45 after a long and public battle with motor neurone disease. Francois Pienaar led the coffin-bearers at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium, where prolonged rounds of applause broke out to honour the celebrated...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen died on Monday aged 45 after a five-year battle with motor neurone disease, his charity foundation said. "It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed," the J9 Foundation said on its Facebook page. The former scrum-half, a Springboks captain who won the 1995 World Cup, was diagnosed with the condition in 2011...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
A Kenyan international footballer is demanding just over 37,000 U.S. dollars in compensation after being forced out of South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Golden Arrows. Winger Cliffton Miheso who also plays for the country's national football team Harambee Stars was forced out of Arrows amid gun drama last month and he has instructed his lawyers based in Nairobi to pursue damages for contract violation. The player fled to the C R Swart Square Police Station in Durban after...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/17)
South African Wayde van Niekerk, the world 400m record holder and Olympic champion, is seeking a World Championships scheduling change so he can race Usain Bolt in London, his manager said on Friday. "We will try to make it happen. That's the plan. The main goal is to win the 400m title but he would also like to run the 200m. We'll see how he goes through the season and if he's ready for it," Peet van Zyl, Van Niekerk's...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Star Khama Billiat and fellow midfielder and captain Willard Katsande are among eight South Africa-based footballers chosen by Zimbabwe for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. The 'Warriors' will be the outsiders this month in Group B, where they will play former champions Algeria and Tunisia, and Senegal, with the top two finishers advancing to the quarter-finals. It will be the third appearance by Zimbabwe in the tournament -- they were eliminated after the first round in Tunisia...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
South African former golfer Wayne Westner, who won the South African Open in 1988 and 1991, shot himself dead in front of his wife on Wednesday, police said. Westner, 55, who also won the 1996 World Cup of Golf with compatriot Ernie Els, retired after being injured in 1998. Police said he shot himself in Pennington, a coastal town south of Durban. "The police opened a case of inquest after a 55-year-old man identified as Wayne Westner was found dead...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Cricket South Africa said Tuesday it wants to hold talks with the agent of Kyle Abbott to discuss a report that the Test fast bowler is on the verge of signing a contract to play county cricket in England. Hampshire expect to secure the services of Abbott on a long-term deal which would preclude him from playing for South Africa, according to a report on the ESPN Cricinfo website. "We will discuss it with his agent," a Cricket South Africa...

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(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 to leave their homeland to be rewarded for their art. Another is Josie Field. "I feel my sound and where I want to go musically, I've hit a ceiling in South Africa," Field said. "The...
(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 now drop my daughter off at her granny with the medication we have been given and then I will go into work,” Lekgoto, 34, said at the clinic. “This place, the staff are friendly and it’s nice and clean. I’ll...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(News24 02/27/17)
Thirty tons of school books collected in Bedfordview and meant for distribution to schools in Zimbabwe are stuck at Beitbridge Border Post because the state revenue authority is demanding tax, reports say. The official Herald newspaper says the books were destined for 11 schools in Bulawayo, near where President Robert Mugabe will hold his birthday party on Saturday. The book shipment was organised by Chitungwiza Rotary Club, which says it's been doing this without problems since 2011. Past president of...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(CNN 02/10/17)
A car painted by renowned 81-year-old artist Esther Mahlangu and Zulu carved ox horns are just some of the items on display at the first major UK Exhibition on South African Art. The exhibition explores the rich heritage of the country and covers seven key episodes of South African history, sculptures, clothes and ornaments are displayed alongside artwork from the same time to give them context. The gold treasures of Mapungubwe -- small gold figures found in royal graves in...
(Times Live 12/15/16)
Local series and film junkies have been given an early Christmas present – Amazon Prime Video is now available in South Africa. Amazon announced on Wednesday that it is extending its service to more than 200 countries and territories‚ including South Africa. “We are excited to announce that starting today‚ fans around the world have access to Prime Video‚” said Prime Video's Vice President Tim Leslie. “The Grand Tour and other critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series like Transparent‚ Mozart in...
(News24 12/14/16)
The SABC has finally handed over requested documents to Parliament's ad hoc committee which is holding an inquiry on the fitness of the broadcaster's board. Chairperson of the committee Vincent Smith told MPs on Monday that more than 400 documents were sent on Saturday. He said the committee's legal team is processing the documents. "It is going to be a tall order but I'm sure the team will be able to give us some indication of what is in there...
(Eye Witness News 12/07/16)
Mbulaheni Maguvhe went to the Western Cape High Court to interdict the ad hoc committee from beginning with its probe. The last remaining South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Mbulaheni Maguvhe has filed for leave to appeal a high court ruling which dismissed his previous application to halt the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the public broadcaster’s board. The Parliamentary ad hoc committee is now to decide whether proceedings will be suspended pending the outcome of this court action...
(Voice of America 11/14/16)
Ever fancied owning world famous South African landmarks like Table Mountain, the Kruger game park and Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned? Well, players of the internationally popular Monopoly property purchase board game can now do so. The American toy company that manufactures the game, Hasbro, recently released Monopoly Mzansi. Mzansi is a Xhosa word meaning South Africa. It’s the first version of the game to fully represent modern-day, democratic South Africa. South Africans have been playing...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(BBC News Africa 09/20/16)
Tributes are pouring in from across South Africa for kwaito musician Mduduzi "Mandoza" Tshabalala who died after a year-long battle with cancer. Mandoza, 38, took to the stage in recent weeks at a concert at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, despite having lost his sight due to illness. His friends and family say he was determined to perform until the end. The musician's hit song Nkalakatha has been praised for unifying black and white South Africans. Nkalakatha, a Zulu word which...
(Business Day 09/19/16)
SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has suffered another court defeat after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal a ruling by the High Court in Cape Town, which effectively set aside his permanent appointment. In May, the High Court dismissed with costs an application by Motsoeneng and the SABC for leave to appeal against a ruling that invalidated his permanent appointment. Motsoeneng, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the broadcaster subsequently approached the Supreme Court...
(AfricaNews 09/19/16)
South African music star, Mduduzi Tshabalala, also known as Mandoza, died on Sunday in Johannesburg while undergoing treatment for brain tumor. His family had earlier on September 6 announced that he was being treated at home after he complained of headache some few weeks ago forcing him to cancel all international shows. His wife, Mpho Tshabalala, called on South Africans to remember the ill star in their thoughts and prayers. Mandoza however performed his last show on September 10 at...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(Business Day 07/28/16)
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Thursday dismissed the notion that there was censorship being implemented at the SABC. She said the SABC informed and educated people compared to mainstream media which was "feeding propaganda" to the public. She brushed off comments that she had been quiet in the wake of the controversy at the public broadcaster. "There has been a debate on censorship at the SABC. "I don’t know what you mean by censorship," Muthambi said. She accused mainstream media...

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(Gulfnews 03/25/17)
Legoete saw people with no medical insurance using private care in Bengaluru hospital. 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 (Dh73 or $19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to now drop my daughter off at her granny with the medication we have been given and then I will go...
(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase puts Sinopec in the ranks of international oil companies including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, Kuwait Petroleum and PTT of Thailand that operate petrol stations outside their borders. It also marks a shift among Chinese oil companies’ overseas investments from...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
A boy of 10 was forced to lie face down while his mother was subjected to a four-hour rape ordeal in a Johannesburg taxi, reports from South Africa say. He and his mother were allegedly tricked into boarding the minibus taxi before she was assaulted and ordered to hand over her bank card and PIN number by the three armed occupants. It is thought to be the latest in a string of attacks by the gang. The first reports of...
(Financial Times 03/22/17)
South African police have arrested three men over a break-in at the offices of the country’s chief justice which has shaken confidence in the independence of its judiciary. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national police commissioner, said on Wednesday that despite the arrests, the police had not yet recovered computers stolen from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office which contained sensitive personal files on judges. Saturday’s break-in has raised the alarm among civil-society groups and opposition parties in South Africa as it...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
South Africa has proposed a new law banning foreigners directly buying agricultural land in the country as the government seeks to boost ownership for the black majority. Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties or the land should be majority owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17. The ruling African National...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will chair an inter-ministerial committee set up to ensure social grants are paid to recipients on time after the government was criticized for leading the system close to failure. The committee will consist of ministers including Pravin Gordhan, minister of finance, and Bathabile Dlamini, minister for social development, who has been criticized for her handling of the payment process, the government said Saturday in a statement. It will ensure the government implements a court order...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
South Africa, long a haven for migrants from across Africa, is trying to update its immigration policy with a number of changes, which one official says aims to strike a balance between being welcoming of immigrants and keeping the nation safe. Among the policy changes being considered: the creation of processing centers for asylum-seekers along South Africa’s border; the end of an automatic path from long-term residency to citizenship; the introduction of a points-based system intended to attract highly skilled immigrants and the elimination of some visa requirements for African citizens.
(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...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
One of the most influential leaders of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress backed a suggestion by President Jacob Zuma that the state be allowed to expropriate land without having to pay for it. The ANC in Kwazulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nine provinces, will be pushing for the sanctioning of land seizures at a party policy conference that begins June 30, said Sihle Zikalala, the party’s regional chairman. “As KwaZulu-Natal, our proposition is expropriation of...
(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...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
S Africa's decision to revoke its notice of withdrawal from the ICC does not mean the matter is conclusively settled. South Africa has been summoned to appear before the International Criminal Court on April 7 to answer for its failure to arrest President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan during his visit to the country in June 2015. This announcement came only days after South Africa informed the United Nations of its decision to revoke its withdrawal from the court. In October...
(AL Jazeera 03/15/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(AL Jazeera 03/14/17)
'Early warning' system established between two countries after spate of xenophobic attacks on migrants in South Africa. South Africa says it will launch an "early warning" system with Nigeria to track and deter xenophobic attacks following a surge in violence in the rainbow nation. South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the new monitor would "help prevent violence" against foreigners and their businesses as she met with Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart on Monday. Last month, more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, 120km west of Pretoria, while in Rosettenville, an area south of the commercial capital Johannesburg
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
The crisis swirling around South Africa’s system of welfare payments to the poorest third of its people has become a game of chicken. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini insists that Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. must continue to distribute the payments after its contract, which the Constitutional Court ruled illegal, expires on March 31. An inter-ministerial task force voided a new agreement between the South African Social Security Agency and Net1, and will conduct future talks with the company. Net1 said...
(Bloomberg 03/14/17)
South Africa’s banks have gone on the offensive after being criticized by some politicians over their lending practices and records in addressing racial inequality. Attacks on the lenders have been led by President Jacob Zuma, who’s accused them of monopolizing the financial services industry, and questioned whether they colluded when closing accounts belonging to members of the wealthy Gupta family, who are his friends and are in business with his son. Parliament’s finance and trade and industry committees held hearings...
(NPR 03/14/17)
Conservationists are sounding the alarm over a South African proposal that would legalize and regulate the domestic trade of rhinoceros horn, as well as allow some limited exports. A public comment period ended last week on the draft regulations from the Department of Environmental Affairs, published on Feb. 8 in the official government gazette. "South African rhino breeders want the government to legalize the sale so, they say, they can flood the market and decrease the cost of rhino horn,"...

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