Friday 28 July 2017

Afrique du Sud

(Times Live 07/27/17)
State-owned power utility Eskom has placed its chief financial officer, Anoj Singh, on precautionary suspension‚ pending the outcome of a forensic investigation. The suspension‚ The Times has learned‚ follows an urgent intervention by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his counterpart at the Department of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown. This comes after Eskom faced a threat from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) to recall its R15 billion loan if no action was taken against Singh and other Eskom officials responsible for the beleaguered parastatal’s qualified audit opinion. In releasing its financials last week‚ Eskom confirmed irregular expenditure to the tune of R3 billion but downplayed any possible consequences from
(Business Day 07/27/17)
The JSE rose to within a whisker of its record high on Thursday, powered by resource and industrial stocks, which responded to a slew of corporate earnings. Anglo American led the charge in the resource sector after reinstating a dividend, much to the delight of the market, that pushed the share price up by as much as 5% during the course of the day. Anglo followed in the footsteps of its subsidiary, Kumba Iron Ore which, earlier in the week, decided to return cash to shareholders for the first time since 2015. The resources index gained 1.42%, helping nudge up the all share by 0.43% to 55,074.40 points by lunchtime, its best level since May 2015. It earlier reached 55,222...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a...
(Business Day 07/27/17)
Production inflation posted a surprisingly sharp fall in June — slowing to 4% year on year, from 4.8% in May. Investec and Trading Economics had forecast that the producer price index (PPI) rose 4.6% year on year in June. Compared with May 2017, producer prices fell in June — decreasing 0.3%, after rising 0.5% in May from April. Food and fuel prices were key factors in the headline PPI outcome. The easing of the drought in most of SA, and...
(Times Live 07/27/17)
Economic growth‚ or the lack thereof‚ will dominate discussions on Friday when the ANC lekgotla gets underway. This is according to Secretary General Gwede Mantashe‚ who told the media on Thursday that ANC leaders will on Friday begin putting in place means to spur economic growth as well as finding ways of “how to get out of this junk status”. The economy was dealt a heavy blow in April when two rating agencies downgraded South Africa to sub-investment grade -...
(Times Live 07/27/17)
The Democratic Alliance says it is increasingly concerned that Parliament may be placing a stranglehold on the committees tasked with investigating state capture by not providing them with the resources they need. According to the DA’s chief whip‚ John Steenhuisen‚ on Tuesday this week‚ the Public Enterprises Committee held a preparatory meeting to establish the groundwork of its investigation into state capture at Eskom. It was made clear that a qualified evidence leader would be needed to assist the committee...
(Times Live 07/27/17)
The City of Cape Town has taken Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi to court to force her to give it permission to buy renewable energy. This comes after a three-year-long running battle between the city and Kubayi's office over the matter. The city has set a target to source at least 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. However the city can't buy the energy directly from producers unless there is a prior determination by the minister and the...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
The South African Constitution’s Bill of Rights says that everyone has the right to have access to health care services. Yet more than 80 percent of the nation’s population has no medical insurance and depend on a public health system with too few doctors and dilapidated facilities, resulting in treatment delays. So the government proposed a National Health Insurance plan in 2009 that would cover all its citizens. But the policy blueprint has taken years to move forward to the...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
South African police Wednesday arrested a 24-year-old woman with 20 kilogrammes of rhino horn before boarding a flight bound for Hong Kong, a spokesman said. The woman whose nationality has not been revealed, was detained at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport while in transit from the Zambian capital Lusaka. Police said a luggage scanner revealed her suitcase "contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20 kilogrammes." She has been charged with contravening laws that protect endangered species. South Africa...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, which represents the industry, made a court application to block a proposal by the mines minister to freeze granting and renewing mining rights, intensifying a legal clash between the two sides. The lobby group applied to the Pretoria High Court “to review and set aside the notice and to interdict the minister from taking any decision or issuing any directive contemplated in the notice,” it said in a statement Tuesday. The legal battle began after Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane last month published a new Mining Charter, which would require mining assets in South Africa to be 30 percent black-owned, up from 26 percent.
(eNCA 07/26/17)
British author and anti-apartheid activist, Peter Hain says he’s worried about South Africa’s future under the current leadership. "You have changed from being the miracle rainbow nation over the 1990s," said Hain. "The leadership of the country is not delivering stability, is not empowering people, is not actually delivering programs that will help the majority of the South Africans and give confidence to national investors." "This whole thing of the Guptas and the presidency is very dangerous for South Africa,...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s home province is making overtures to one of the key power blocs in the African National Congress in a bid to support his preferred successor as he prepares to step down as leader of the ruling party in December. Monday’s meeting between party officials from the provinces of Mpumalanga and Zuma’s home area of KwaZulu-Natal came amid an intensifying drive by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to win the leadership of the ANC against Zuma’s favored...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Sasol Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of fuel from coal, said its Secunda synfuels operations posted record full-year output, even as a stronger rand and a recession-hit South African economy curbed profit. Headline earnings, which exclude one-time items, declined by between 11 percent and 21 percent during the 12 months through June 30, the Johannesburg-based company said Tuesday in a statement. That equates to profit per share range of 32.71 rand ($2.51) to 36.85 rand, compared with the 34.45 rand mean estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sasol’s stock rose the most this year.
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
South African Airways asked the government for 10 billion rand ($772 million) as part of a recapitalization plan aimed at returning the state-owned carrier to profit, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The request was included in a one-year corporate plan submitted by the airline to the National Treasury in March, Gigaba said in a written reply to a question from opposition lawmakers, without saying whether he would agree to it. Any funds awarded by the state to SAA would...
(Lusaka Times 07/25/17)
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has called on South African companies to partner with Zambian firms. Mr. Mwamba also urged foreign companies to take advantage of the country’s investment climate to invest in various sectors of the economy. He said this during a trade and investment meeting in Lusaka. Mr. Mwamba further noted that Zambia and South Africa have a trade imbalance. He said there is need for Zambia to promote its goods in an effort to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Caster Semenya will chase a golden double at next month's world championships in London after adding the women’s 1500 meters to her 800m entry, Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Tuesday. Semenya, who had to undergo gender testing before being cleared to compete as a woman after winning the world 800m title in 2009, is the Olympic champion at the shorter distance. She set a world-leading time of 1:55.27 last week in Monaco at the Diamond League meeting, which is...
(The Associated Press 07/25/17)
South Africa's government is moving ahead with draft regulations for a domestic trade in rhino horn, despite critics' concerns that a legal market will spur rhino poaching. The environmental affairs minister, Edna Molewa, said Monday that anyone possessing a rhino horn will need a permit, and that South Africa continues to recognize a ban on the international trade in horn that was imposed in 1977. South Africa is home to most of the world's rhinos. Earlier this year, South Africa's...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
A new book detailing Nelson Mandela's last days has been withdrawn after it was condemned by his outraged widow, publisher Penguin Random House said Monday. The book by Mandela's physician Vejay Ramlakan was released last week to coincide with the late anti-apartheid leader's birthday, July 18, which is marked each year as Mandela Day. It revealed several undignified episodes at the end of Mandela's life as well as bitter family squabbles over...

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(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
The South African Constitution’s Bill of Rights says that everyone has the right to have access to health care services. Yet more than 80 percent of the nation’s population has no medical insurance and depend on a public health system with too few doctors and dilapidated facilities, resulting in treatment delays. So the government proposed a National Health Insurance plan in 2009 that would cover all its citizens. But the policy blueprint has taken years to move forward to the planning stage and will take almost another decade to get into full swing. And there probably won’t be enough money to pay for it. It’s unclear how much longer citizens will wait for a cure...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
South African police Wednesday arrested a 24-year-old woman with 20 kilogrammes of rhino horn before boarding a flight bound for Hong Kong, a spokesman said. The woman whose nationality has not been revealed, was detained at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport while in transit from the Zambian capital Lusaka. Police said a luggage scanner revealed her suitcase "contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20 kilogrammes." She has been charged with contravening laws that protect endangered species. South Africa is battling a scourge of rhino poaching fuelled by insatiable demand for their horn in Asia, where its powdered form is mistakenly believed to have medicinal powers that could cure cancer or act as an aphrodisiac. Roughly a quarter of...
(The Associated Press 07/25/17)
South Africa's government is moving ahead with draft regulations for a domestic trade in rhino horn, despite critics' concerns that a legal market will spur rhino poaching. The environmental affairs minister, Edna Molewa, said Monday that anyone possessing a rhino horn will need a permit, and that South Africa continues to recognize a ban on the international trade in horn that was imposed in 1977. South Africa is home to most of the world's rhinos. Earlier this year, South Africa's...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
The number of rhinos killed for their horns by poachers in South Africa dipped slightly in the first half of this year, but more than 500 were still slaughtered, the government announced Monday. South Africa is battling a scourge of rhino poaching fuelled by insatiable demand for their horn in Asia. Most of the demand emanates from China and Vietnam, where the horn is coveted as a traditional medicine, an aphrodisiac or as a status symbol. "A total of 529 rhino have been poached since January 2017, compared to 542 in the same period...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Naked, covered in white clay mud, and with his penis wrapped in leaves, Abongile Maqegu, 20, sits in a hut in South Africa recovering from his circumcision -- a traditional ritual that can prove fatal. For Maqegu, it has been a gruelling initiation test that marks his arrival as an adult, and the pain is an essential part of the experience. "You must go through that pain to show that you are a man," he told AFP outside the coastal village of Coffee Bay about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Umtata in Eastern Cape province.
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
The Black Sash Trust, a civil-rights group, asked South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal to let it seek to overturn a High Court ruling allowing Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. to continue making deductions from welfare grants distributed on the government’s behalf. The High Court, which made its ruling in May, has refused Black Sash the right to appeal. The group argues that a range of companies, some part-owned by Net1, take advantage of some of South Africa’s poorest and least...
(Business Day 07/19/17)
The suspended acting CE resigned in the middle of a disciplinary process related to Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Suspended SABC acting CE James Aguma has resigned with immediate effect‚ his lawyer said on Wednesday. James was in the midst of a disciplinary hearing‚ where he stood accused of providing false information under oath during the disciplinary proceedings brought against former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Aguma was also accused of tender irregularities and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Osborne Molatudi‚ Aguma’s lawyer‚ said...
(AFP (eng) 07/18/17)
South African hopes of dodging the Men's Hockey World League axe were shattered Monday when humiliated 9-1 by merciless Belgium in the final mini-league match in Johannesburg. The host nation needed a victory to pip Egypt on goal difference for fourth place in Pool B and secure a quarter-final against arch sporting rivals Australia. It was a tall order given fifth-ranked Belgium are 10 places higher in the world and recently won all three internationals against the South Africa in Cape Town. But South African supporters hoped...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
The Nelson Mandela International Day must be used to unify South Africans and everyone who lives in South Africa, several South Africans and immigrants in Johannesburg said on Tuesday. The day is an opportunity to deal with issues of inequity and xenophobia which are derailing social cohesion and economic development of South Africa, they said. "This is an important day for South Africans, it's a crucial day to Africa as a continent too. The day brings pride to Africa," said...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
South African Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi on Tuesday made an urgent appeal to meter-taxi drivers and those operating cars by using Uber technologies, urging them to end the spate of violent attacks on each other. "This kind of behaviour which breeds intimidation and anarchy stands condemned and should not be allowed in our public transport system and our country in general," said Maswanganyi. This came following the recent spiralling attacks and counter attacks involving meter-taxi and Uber drivers in parts...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
A South African Uber driver whose car was torched five weeks ago died of his injuries on Monday, the company said, after an attack allegedly involving rival metre-taxi drivers. The man was parked on a street in the capital Pretoria at night when his vehicle was set alight and he suffered severe burns, Uber Africa said in a statement. The company said the attackers were unknown, but it pointed to the metre-taxi business that has suffered due to competition from...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
The South African government on Monday denied reports that it has approved international trade in rhino horns. "The commercial international trade in rhino horn is and remains prohibited in terms of all international protocols that South Africa is party to, particularly the Convention on International Trade in Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)," the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said. This came after a South African private game rancher used social websites to advertise an online auction of rhino horns,...
(APA 07/17/17)
Mozambique’s Office of Prevention and Combat Against Drugs (GPCD) has said the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the city of Maputo last year left a total of 2,014 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with mental disorders, APA learnt on Sunday, GPCD director Sara Jafete is quoted by state-controlled weekly Sunday paper Domingo as saying that the group affected includes students, mainly from secondary school. “Students mix alcohol with soft drinks and it becomes difficult for teachers...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Two white South African farmers accused of pushing a black labourer into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive were granted bail on Friday. The assault was captured on video apparently filmed on a mobile phone by one of the alleged assailants, causing widespread outrage after it was posted on the internet. Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson who have been charged with assault and kidnapping, were granted bail of 1,000 rand ($76) by Middelburg Magistrate's Court. Their trial...
(The Associated Press 07/14/17)
South African forces are hosting the U.S. military in an exercise modeled on a United Nations peacekeeping mandate — currently applied in eastern Congo — that allows for offensive military action against rebel groups. The South African military said Thursday that joint field training begins Monday at the Lohatla military area in Northern Cape province. The exercise ends Aug. 4. South African authorities say U.S. C-17 aircraft will participate and U.S. military vehicles will travel from Cape Town to the...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Three male lions that escaped over the weekend from South Africa's Kruger National Park have been shot dead after a farmer found them eating his cattle, officials said Thursday. The farmer shot one dead and wounded another on Wednesday. Parks authorities armed with rifles then used a helicopter to track down the injured animal and the third lion. "We had to obviously kill the wounded lion because it becomes very dangerous," South African national parks spokeswoman Janine Raftopoulos told local...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Inside South Africa's maximum security Groenpunt prison, hawk-eyed guards stroll between rows of wooden benches, watching inmates closely as they meet visitors. Among the notorious jail's residents is 51-year-old triple murderer Percy Chepape, an anti-apartheid fighter serving a 60-year sentence for his "politically motivated" crimes committed in the chaos that followed liberation in 1994. The former underground operative of an armed group linked to the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has been behind bars for 20 years, convicted of a deadly armed robbery...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/13/17)
Four lions that escaped on Sunday from South Africa's Kruger National Park and remain on the loose were probably driven out by population pressures, parks officials said on Tuesday. The breakout follows one by five lions in May, raising alarm bells in South Africa, which contains its big, dangerous wildlife in fenced reserves to prevent conflict with rural communities and livestock. "The lion population has grown exponentially and is a contributing factor to young males looking to new territories," South...
(Bloomberg 07/12/17)
Unless something changes, it's on the fast track to an economic disaster. The International Monetary Fund just pointed out that “South Africa’s vulnerabilities have become more pronounced.” That’s one way of putting it. A potentially prosperous and dynamic economy is on the fast track to ruin. Altering its course will take real political reform. Unemployment has risen five percentage points since 2008, to a hope-crushing 28 percent. The country’s population is expanding faster than its economy, which lately has grown...

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(Times Live 07/27/17)
State-owned power utility Eskom has placed its chief financial officer, Anoj Singh, on precautionary suspension‚ pending the outcome of a forensic investigation. The suspension‚ The Times has learned‚ follows an urgent intervention by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his counterpart at the Department of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown. This comes after Eskom faced a threat from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) to recall its R15 billion loan if no action was taken against Singh and other Eskom officials responsible for the beleaguered parastatal’s qualified audit opinion. In releasing its financials last week‚ Eskom confirmed irregular expenditure to the tune of R3 billion but downplayed any possible consequences from
(Business Day 07/27/17)
The JSE rose to within a whisker of its record high on Thursday, powered by resource and industrial stocks, which responded to a slew of corporate earnings. Anglo American led the charge in the resource sector after reinstating a dividend, much to the delight of the market, that pushed the share price up by as much as 5% during the course of the day. Anglo followed in the footsteps of its subsidiary, Kumba Iron Ore which, earlier in the week, decided to return cash to shareholders for the first time since 2015. The resources index gained 1.42%, helping nudge up the all share by 0.43% to 55,074.40 points by lunchtime, its best level since May 2015. It earlier reached 55,222...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a...
(Business Day 07/27/17)
Production inflation posted a surprisingly sharp fall in June — slowing to 4% year on year, from 4.8% in May. Investec and Trading Economics had forecast that the producer price index (PPI) rose 4.6% year on year in June. Compared with May 2017, producer prices fell in June — decreasing 0.3%, after rising 0.5% in May from April. Food and fuel prices were key factors in the headline PPI outcome. The easing of the drought in most of SA, and...
(Times Live 07/27/17)
The Democratic Alliance says it is increasingly concerned that Parliament may be placing a stranglehold on the committees tasked with investigating state capture by not providing them with the resources they need. According to the DA’s chief whip‚ John Steenhuisen‚ on Tuesday this week‚ the Public Enterprises Committee held a preparatory meeting to establish the groundwork of its investigation into state capture at Eskom. It was made clear that a qualified evidence leader would be needed to assist the committee...
(Times Live 07/27/17)
The City of Cape Town has taken Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi to court to force her to give it permission to buy renewable energy. This comes after a three-year-long running battle between the city and Kubayi's office over the matter. The city has set a target to source at least 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. However the city can't buy the energy directly from producers unless there is a prior determination by the minister and the...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, which represents the industry, made a court application to block a proposal by the mines minister to freeze granting and renewing mining rights, intensifying a legal clash between the two sides. The lobby group applied to the Pretoria High Court “to review and set aside the notice and to interdict the minister from taking any decision or issuing any directive contemplated in the notice,” it said in a statement Tuesday. The legal battle began after Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane last month published a new Mining Charter, which would require mining assets in South Africa to be 30 percent black-owned, up from 26 percent.
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Sasol Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of fuel from coal, said its Secunda synfuels operations posted record full-year output, even as a stronger rand and a recession-hit South African economy curbed profit. Headline earnings, which exclude one-time items, declined by between 11 percent and 21 percent during the 12 months through June 30, the Johannesburg-based company said Tuesday in a statement. That equates to profit per share range of 32.71 rand ($2.51) to 36.85 rand, compared with the 34.45 rand mean estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sasol’s stock rose the most this year.
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
South African Airways asked the government for 10 billion rand ($772 million) as part of a recapitalization plan aimed at returning the state-owned carrier to profit, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The request was included in a one-year corporate plan submitted by the airline to the National Treasury in March, Gigaba said in a written reply to a question from opposition lawmakers, without saying whether he would agree to it. Any funds awarded by the state to SAA would...
(Lusaka Times 07/25/17)
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has called on South African companies to partner with Zambian firms. Mr. Mwamba also urged foreign companies to take advantage of the country’s investment climate to invest in various sectors of the economy. He said this during a trade and investment meeting in Lusaka. Mr. Mwamba further noted that Zambia and South Africa have a trade imbalance. He said there is need for Zambia to promote its goods in an effort to...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s first interest rate cut in five years, and a surprise one at that, probably won’t be enough to break the rand’s resilience. The currency fell as much as 1.2 percent after the South African Reserve Bank reduced its key rate on Thursday to 6.75 percent from 7 percent to boost an economy in recession, defying predictions of 20 out of 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But it soon recovered some of its losses to trade 0.9 percent...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s mines minister has struck back at attempts by the industry to fight his controversial new industry rules with a proposal to indefinitely freeze granting and renewing mining rights. Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said Thursday that the moratorium is necessary to ensure that no rights are approved without being subject to the new regulations, which he has agreed to suspend pending an initial court judgment. The Chamber of Mines, which represents the industry, will seek a court order suspending the...
(Mining.com 07/21/17)
Botswana Diamonds MD, James Campbell, has injected his passion and commitment into the company since joining the company as MD in December 2016. The MD of Botswana Diamonds, James Campbell, is the former MD of African Diamonds and CEO of Rockwell Diamonds has devoted his working career to the exploration and development of kimberlites in Africa. This includes a deal which could see the company uncover a new commercial kimberlite mine in South Africa, writes Laura Cornish. The right man...
(Independent Online 07/21/17)
South Africa was committed to increasing trade and addressing the trade imbalance with Zambia. This was according to South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, ahead of a two-day Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Lusaka, Zambia, from 24-25 July. Twenty South African companies funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will participate in the mission. Davies said the mission would assist the department with contributing towards South African’s objectives of regional integration by...
(Lusaka Times 07/21/17)
South Africa says it committed to increasing trade and addressing the trade imbalance with Zambia. Zambia is one of SA’s top five trade partners in the Southern African Development Community region. This was according to South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, ahead of a two-day Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Lusaka, Zambia, from 24-25 July. Twenty South African companies funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will participate in the mission. Mr...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa is evaluating assets it could sell to pay for this month’s 2.2 billion rand ($169.5 million) bailout of unprofitable carrier South African Airways, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in letter to parliament. The government’s decision to settle a debt owed by the airline to Standard Chartered Plc mustn’t affect the balance of this year’s budget, Gigaba said in the note to Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly. Further details will be provided in October, he said. The...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
A Zimbabwean farmers' union leader warned white South African farmers they should agree a deal to share land with the black majority before they suffer the same fate as neighbors in Zimbabwe who were violently removed from their properties. Land redistribution is a burning political issue in South Africa and has divided the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a December conference where President Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader will be chosen. Many Zuma supporters are demanding land...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/17)
South Africa's headline consumer inflation decreased more than expected to 5.1 percent year on year in June from 5.4 percent in May, Statistics South Africa reported on Wednesday. According to Statistics South Africa, last month's food inflation figures show the significance of meat within the food basket. "All products decelerated from the previous month's levels with the exception of meat which remained elevated and therefore, sustaining food inflation at 6.9 percent," Wandile Sihlobo, an economist with Agbiz told Xinhua on Wednesday. "The uptick in meat inflation mirrors the remaining effects of the 2015 to 2016 El Nino
(Xinhuanet 07/20/17)
The South African government's newly announced Inclusive Growth Action Plan is unlikely to significantly boost economic growth prospects, international rating agency Fitch said on Wednesday. Most of the measures have been previously announced, the agency said. South African Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba presented the plan on July 13 as a reaction to the recession in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. Most initiatives focus on governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), containing pressure on public...

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(Times Live 07/27/17)
New SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler will make a decision on the future of Togo international Dove Wome‚ who is back at the club after his loan spell at Orlando Pirates ended. Tinkler has incorporated the winger‚ still under contract at SuperSport‚ back into the squad and will run the rule over the player before a decision is made on his future. Wome played for Orlando Pirates in the second half of last season on loan after previous SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter had decided he was surplus to requirements. Wome scored four goals in his five months at Pirates and featured for them in the Nedbank Cup final in Durban in June … against his...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Caster Semenya will chase a golden double at next month's world championships in London after adding the women’s 1500 meters to her 800m entry, Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Tuesday. Semenya, who had to undergo gender testing before being cleared to compete as a woman after winning the world 800m title in 2009, is the Olympic champion at the shorter distance. She set a world-leading time of 1:55.27 last week in Monaco at the Diamond League meeting, which is also her personal best. The 26-year-old has rarely raced in the 1500m, but won the African title in Durban last year in 4:01.99 which allows her to enter the event in London. She will also form part of the South...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the...
(APA 07/17/17)
South Africa clinched 11 medals and topped the table at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world under 18 championships that came to an end on Sunday evening in Nairobi. South Africa managed to clinch 5 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. China came second with 11 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 4 gold medals); followed by Cuba with 8 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and I bronze medals). The hosts, Kenya finished 4th place with 11...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
Johannesburg-born former Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland midfielder Steven Pienaar joined South African Premiership champions Wits Wednesday on a one-year contract. "I am officially a Clever Boy," tweeted Pienaar, referring to the nickname of his new club whose home ground is on the University of the Witwatersrand campus in Johannesburg. The former South Africa captain made 61 international appearances and scored three goals. He moved from Ajax Cape Town to Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, setting in motion a European career...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Former Champions League winner and South Africa's record goalscorer Benni McCarthy was named Cape Town City coach Tuesday. The 39-year-old takes over the one-season-old South African Premiership club after former international Eric Tinkler quit to join another top-flight side, SuperSport United. Cape Town had a fairytale first season after buying a franchise, winning the League Cup and qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup by finishing third in the championship. McCarthy has previous managerial experience as an assistant coach at Belgian...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
France drafted experienced fly half Francois Trinh-Duc and lock Paul Jedrasiak into their touring party in South Africa to replace the injured duo of Camille Lopez and Arthur Iturria, the French rugby federation said on Monday. Trinh-Duc, a 30-year-old who has 58 caps, made a return in March against Wales after breaking his arm against Samoa last year but was originally left out of the 35-man squad for the three tests. He was scheduled to arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas each captured their 200 metre races on the second day of a track and field event in Boston on Sunday. The 24-year-old Van Niekerk, who is the reigning World and Olympic champion in the 400m, clocked a winning time of 19.84 on a temporary built track to beat runnerup BeeJay Lee (20.17) at the Boston Boost Games. Because the competition was run on a straight line instead of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Fresh off a record-breaking performance in the 400 meters at the Rio Olympics, South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk finds himself among a crowd of athletes jostling for the mantle of the retiring Usain Bolt, who has long outshone all his rivals. The 24-year-old smashed American Michael Johnson's 17-year-old record in the 400 at the Rio Games with a time of 43.03 seconds, and is the only man to break 44 seconds in the 400m, 20 seconds in the 200m...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Nigeria have left out Chelsea star Victor Moses from their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa next month. Speculation has been rife in recent weeks over the whether Moses would be available for the June 10 match in the southern city of Uyo. The 26-year-old has been Nigeria's most outstanding player in Europe this past season but there have been doubts about his commitment to the Super Eagles. Another surprise in Gernot Rohr's 23-man squad is a...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
South Africa's Akani Simbine surprised a world-class sprint field, including Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse to claim a season-opening 100m Diamond League victory on Friday. The 23-year-old powered home in a time of 9.99sec to become the first South African man to win a Diamond League 100m, and serve notice that the Blue Riband event could be more competitive than for some time with the impending international retirement of Usain Bolt. "I'm happy with my shape now,...
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
England-born Stuart Baxter was named South Africa coach Thursday for a second time after a saga in which three preferred candidates dropped out of contention. Baxter, 63, who coaches Pretoria-based top-flight club SuperSport United, was hired when plans to lure Carlos Queiroz, Herve Renard or Hugo Broos failed to materialise. Iran wanted a large pay-out to release Mozambique-born Queiroz, the former Real Madrid manager and Manchester United assistant manager. Africa Cup of Nations-winning coaches Renard from France and Broos from...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Wits became the third top-flight club to be knocked out of the South African FA Cup this season by lower-league rivals when they lost on penalties to Jomo Cosmos Tuesday. Second-tier Cosmos won the shootout 5-4 after a 1-1 draw following extra time in a last-16 tie in Tsakane, 70 kilometres south of Johannesburg. Premiership leaders Cape Town City and neighbours Ajax Cape Town fell to lower division clubs in the previous round. The fifth successful Cosmos spot-kick came down...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
In a bid to rebuild from a disastrous 2016 South Africa appointed former centre Brendan Venter as defence coach on Sunday giving him two months to prepare for a three-Test home series against France in June. A South African Rugby statement said the 47-year-old will be involved in a three-day preparation camp, which began Sunday in western Cape university town Stellenbosch. Venter replaces JP Ferreira, one of several defence coaches used during 2016 when the Springboks lost eight of 12...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
The final day of the deciding third Test between New Zealand and South Africa was abandoned because of persistent rain in Hamilton on Wednesday, giving the Proteas a 1-0 series victory. The umpires called the game off as further showers swept across the ground just after the scheduled lunch break. New Zealand, who were in command after four days, were left frustrated to be denied the opportunity to draw level and snap a 13-year winless streak against South Africa. Play...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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(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 under Italian rule in the 1930s, showcases "early modernist urbanism" in an African context. And it says the Khomani cultural landscape at South Africa's border with Botswana and Namibia testifies to the way of life...
(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 Africa's tourism research institute. "The cooperation between China and South Africa is expected to surge this year because of the bilateral agreement," he added, referring to the bilateral high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism launched in April. While addressing the April conference...
(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...
(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...

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(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, increased its forecast of this year’s record crop after farmers improved their yields. Growers will probably reap 15.97 million metric tons of corn in the 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Tuesday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a nine-year low. The committee increased its estimate by 2.2 percent from the 15.63 million tons it projected in June. The forecast is higher than the 15.8 million tons in a Bloomberg survey of analysts and...
(Bloomberg 07/27/17)
The South African Constitution’s Bill of Rights says that everyone has the right to have access to health care services. Yet more than 80 percent of the nation’s population has no medical insurance and depend on a public health system with too few doctors and dilapidated facilities, resulting in treatment delays. So the government proposed a National Health Insurance plan in 2009 that would cover all its citizens. But the policy blueprint has taken years to move forward to the planning stage and will take almost another decade to get into full swing. And there probably won’t be enough money to pay for it. It’s unclear how much longer citizens will wait for a cure. 1. What’s the current public...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, which represents the industry, made a court application to block a proposal by the mines minister to freeze granting and renewing mining rights, intensifying a legal clash between the two sides. The lobby group applied to the Pretoria High Court “to review and set aside the notice and to interdict the minister from taking any decision or issuing any directive contemplated in the notice,” it said in a statement Tuesday. The legal battle began after Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane last month published a new Mining Charter, which would require mining assets in South Africa to be 30 percent black-owned, up from 26 percent.
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s home province is making overtures to one of the key power blocs in the African National Congress in a bid to support his preferred successor as he prepares to step down as leader of the ruling party in December. Monday’s meeting between party officials from the provinces of Mpumalanga and Zuma’s home area of KwaZulu-Natal came amid an intensifying drive by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to win the leadership of the ANC against Zuma’s favored...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Sasol Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of fuel from coal, said its Secunda synfuels operations posted record full-year output, even as a stronger rand and a recession-hit South African economy curbed profit. Headline earnings, which exclude one-time items, declined by between 11 percent and 21 percent during the 12 months through June 30, the Johannesburg-based company said Tuesday in a statement. That equates to profit per share range of 32.71 rand ($2.51) to 36.85 rand, compared with the 34.45 rand mean estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sasol’s stock rose the most this year.
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
South African Airways asked the government for 10 billion rand ($772 million) as part of a recapitalization plan aimed at returning the state-owned carrier to profit, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The request was included in a one-year corporate plan submitted by the airline to the National Treasury in March, Gigaba said in a written reply to a question from opposition lawmakers, without saying whether he would agree to it. Any funds awarded by the state to SAA would...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s first interest rate cut in five years, and a surprise one at that, probably won’t be enough to break the rand’s resilience. The currency fell as much as 1.2 percent after the South African Reserve Bank reduced its key rate on Thursday to 6.75 percent from 7 percent to boost an economy in recession, defying predictions of 20 out of 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But it soon recovered some of its losses to trade 0.9 percent...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s mines minister has struck back at attempts by the industry to fight his controversial new industry rules with a proposal to indefinitely freeze granting and renewing mining rights. Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said Thursday that the moratorium is necessary to ensure that no rights are approved without being subject to the new regulations, which he has agreed to suspend pending an initial court judgment. The Chamber of Mines, which represents the industry, will seek a court order suspending the...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
The Black Sash Trust, a civil-rights group, asked South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal to let it seek to overturn a High Court ruling allowing Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. to continue making deductions from welfare grants distributed on the government’s behalf. The High Court, which made its ruling in May, has refused Black Sash the right to appeal. The group argues that a range of companies, some part-owned by Net1, take advantage of some of South Africa’s poorest and least...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa is evaluating assets it could sell to pay for this month’s 2.2 billion rand ($169.5 million) bailout of unprofitable carrier South African Airways, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in letter to parliament. The government’s decision to settle a debt owed by the airline to Standard Chartered Plc mustn’t affect the balance of this year’s budget, Gigaba said in the note to Baleka Mbete, speaker of the National Assembly. Further details will be provided in October, he said. The...
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
A provincial structure of South Africa’s ruling party is instituting disciplinary measures against a member who has called for President Jacob Zuma to step down and has been receiving death threats from the African National Congress’s Youth League. The public pronouncements by Makhosi Khoza, who is a member of parliament, “represented the worse form of arrogance,” the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal province, where she is from, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “Her public stunt and participation in platforms intended to replace the societal leadership role of the ANC constitutes a blatant betrayal of the core values of the ANC.”
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
The South African cabinet minister who oversees more than $11 billion in annual welfare payments said she is committed to working with the state-owned post office, easing concern that the planned partnership would be scrapped after she ousted the chief executive officer of the social security agency. Bathabile Dlamini, the minister of social development, told staff on Tuesday that her party, the ruling African National Congress, had instructed her to work with the South African Post Office, and she will...
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
South African Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane proposed a restriction on granting and renewing mining rights that are needed by producers to operate in the country. Zwane has issued a request for submissions on the proposal, “having regard to the national interest and the need to promote the sustainable development of the nation’s national resources,” he said in a government gazette published Wednesday. The minister’s move raises the stakes in his dispute with South Africa’s mining sector, after Zwane published...
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. first-quarter sales gained 3.9 percent as Africa’s largest carrier by market value invested in its network and increased sales of smartphones in its home country of South Africa. The unit of Vodafone Group Plc reported revenue of 20.7 billion rand ($1.6 billion), propelled by a 15 percent rise in data sales. The Johannesburg-based company added 2.3 million customers in South Africa and 280,000 customers in its four other markets, bringing the total to 70 million people, it...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
South Africa’s central bank will persist in seeking a court order to set aside an instruction from the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman that its mandate must be changed, even after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she won’t oppose the regulator’s application. In a report last month, Mkhwebane instructed the legislature to start a process to amend the nation’s constitution to make the Reserve Bank focus on the “socioeconomic well-being of the citizens” rather than inflation. Her comments caused the rand to...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
South African Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has suspended the controversial new Mining Charter pending judgment on a case brought by the industry seeking to halt the rules, according to the Chamber of Mines, which represents producers. In return, the chamber has agreed to the department of mineral resources’ request for more time to prepare its response in the case, the group said in an emailed statement Friday. The Mining Charter, which Zwane published June 15, would require mining assets in...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The South African Communist Party said it will contest future elections independent of its ally, the ruling African National Congress. The party wants President Jacob Zuma to step down following a series of graft scandals in which he has been implicated since taking office in 2009. The SACP, which has a political alliance with the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, reaffirmed its decision to contest state power. “After considerable debate at Congress, we have resolved that...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Meter-taxi drivers in South Africa are attacking those that operate cars and use Uber Technologies Inc., and the ride-hailing service has called for a meeting with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to help stop the violence. Uber has hired private security to protect drivers and customers at violent hot spots such as the Gautrain station in Sandton in northern Johannesburg, Jonathan Ayache, the service’s general manager in the country, said on Johannesburg-based broadcaster Talk Radio 702 Monday. “The intimidation and violence...

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