Tuesday 21 November 2017

Afrique du Sud

(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
US authorities have arrested Hong Kong's former home affairs secretary and the ex-foreign minister of Senegal for leading a multimillion dollar bribery scheme in Africa on behalf of a top Chinese energy company, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations. US officials announced Monday that former Senegalese top diplomat Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong's Patrick Chi Ping Ho sent huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for the Chinese company. The company was not identified in the announcement or the complaint filed in New York federal district court, but details in the complaint pointed to CEFC China Energy, the Shanghai-based rising star of China's energy...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(Reuters 11/17/17)
South Africa’s rand raced to a two-week high against the dollar on Friday as the greenback came under pressure after a report that investigators probing possible Russian interference in the U.S. election had subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s election campaign for documents. Bourse heavyweight Naspers helped push South African stocks higher. At 1511 GMT, the rand was trading at 14.0450 per dollar, 0.8 percent firmer than its close on Thursday. The currency had touched a session high of 13.9575, its firmest...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
South Africa on Wednesday urged neighbouring Zimbabwe to resist any "unconstitutional changes" of government as President Robert Mugabe's grip on power appeared threatened by the military. President Jacob Zuma "has expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government," said a statement released in Pretoria. Zuma appealed for "the country to resolve the political impasse amicably and has urged the Zimbabwean defence force to ensure ... the maintenance of peace," it added. South Africa is...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma reiterated a call on Monday for radical reforms to shift the balance of “monopoly” economic power away from whites who dominated under apartheid, saying without such change blacks would stay poor for a long time. He made the remarks, reiterating a staple criticism leveled by his ruling ANC about South Africa’s economy, against the backdrop of widespread allegations of corruption against Zuma and his friends, the Indian-born Gupta brothers. Zuma was responding to a question about his role as an enemy of “white capital”, during an interview with the ANN7 news network, which was founded by the Guptas.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Greenpeace Africa and other NGOs intend to appeal against South Africa’s decision to grant an environmental permit for a new 4,000 megawatt nuclear plant close to Cape Town, the activists said on Monday. Last month South Africa’s department of environmental affairs granted authorization to state-owned power utility Eskom to build the new plant at Duynefontein, close to the continent’s only existing nuclear site Koeberg. South Africa’s nuclear regulator said in October that an installation site license...
(Bloomberg 11/14/17)
South Africa’s ruling party is battling to calm internal divisions that are threatening to disrupt preparations for its national conference next month as factions engage in a bitter fight over who will replace President Jacob Zuma as its leader. Committee decided on Monday to confirm the leadership of the Eastern Cape province after a disputed conference in that region in September, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been...
(Bloomberg 11/14/17)
South African banks are preparing for the worst when it comes to the threat of another downgrade of the country’s debt. “FirstRand anticipated the downgrades since 2015 and has been working on a number of proactive strategies to mitigate the impact,” said Andries du Toit, the treasurer at Johannesburg-based FirstRand Ltd., the country’s second-biggest bank by assets. The measures included adjusting credit origination, and boosting liquidity and capital buffers, he said. The credit ratings of the continent’s largest lenders such...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
A South African court Monday handed a $7,000 fine to former deputy minister after he pleaded guilty to assaulting three women in a nightclub after they referred to him as gay, a sentence that drew outrage from activists. Mduduzi Manana, 33, quit his job in August as deputy minister for higher education after he was charged over the assault, which was caught on camera and circulated widely on social media. A woman had accused him of kicking and punching her...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s main opposition party said on Sunday it had asked the High Court to force President Jacob Zuma to disclose how much the state has spent on legal fees to fight corruption allegations against him. Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council Chairperson James Selfe said in a statement the opposition party had asked the court to direct the President to write to parliament within five days confirming the total amount spent. The DA walked out of a...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber. The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise. Porto midfielder Brahimi was lucky to still be on the field after escaping with a yellow card for head-butting Shehu 12 minutes from time. Nigeria went ahead on 62...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
South Africa's elite police unit said Thursday that it was investigating a journalist at the request of the country's spy agency after he made corruption and tax avoidance allegations against President Jacob Zuma. In "The President's Keepers", released last month, Jacques Pauw paints a vivid picture of Zuma's scandal-tainted presidency including details of how he allegedly packed the State Security Agency (SSA) with loyalists. The Hawks investigative unit is now considering what charges could be brought against Pauw over his allegations of corruption and misconduct at the top of South Africa's political and security apparatus. "Based on (the investigation).
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) has made a criminal complaint against the author of a book critical of President Jacob Zuma, a spokesman said on Thursday. “The President’s Keepers - Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison” by journalist Jacques Pauw alleges millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money flowed into the bank accounts of spies and members of Zuma’s government. The president’s office has denied the accusations, saying Zuma had declared all his income...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
KWANDENGEZI, South Africa (Reuters) - It’s early in the morning and 90-year-old Thumekile Mthiyane is making her daily 2 km (1 mile) walk along dirt roads snaking through crop fields and the hills of rural KwaZulu-Natal, a province on South Africa’s east coast. The Gogo, or grandmother in Zulu, is on her way to catch up on community news at a communal vegetable garden in KwaNdengezi, a township between the wealthy suburb of Summerfield and a highway that connects Johannesburg...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says his team have "knives to their throats" as they attempt an extraordinary qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Bottom-of-the-table Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Senegal in Polokwane and Dakar between Friday and Tuesday and must win both matches to snatch first place in Group D. Senegal top the table with eight points from four matches, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have six from five, and South Africa four from four. South Africa and Senegal...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa will launch an inquiry into weak tax collection by the revenue service after receiving the approval of President Jacob Zuma, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday. Gigaba shocked financial markets last month by flagging wider deficits and rising government debt in a closely watched budget speech, attributing the dismal forecasts to sluggish growth and low tax receipts. On Tuesday he told a news conference that Zuma had granted his request for an inquiry by a judge into the administration and governance of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). He added that the inquiry would be set up soon. “It is critical for government to determine the cause of the tax...

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(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Greenpeace Africa and other NGOs intend to appeal against South Africa’s decision to grant an environmental permit for a new 4,000 megawatt nuclear plant close to Cape Town, the activists said on Monday. Last month South Africa’s department of environmental affairs granted authorization to state-owned power utility Eskom to build the new plant at Duynefontein, close to the continent’s only existing nuclear site Koeberg. South Africa’s nuclear regulator said in October that an installation site license for the plant would likely be granted in June, despite the finance minister saying construction of a new plant was unaffordable in a stagnant economy facing further credit downgrades. “If this project goes ahead, it will infringe the environmental rights...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
KWANDENGEZI, South Africa (Reuters) - It’s early in the morning and 90-year-old Thumekile Mthiyane is making her daily 2 km (1 mile) walk along dirt roads snaking through crop fields and the hills of rural KwaZulu-Natal, a province on South Africa’s east coast. The Gogo, or grandmother in Zulu, is on her way to catch up on community news at a communal vegetable garden in KwaNdengezi, a township between the wealthy suburb of Summerfield and a highway that connects Johannesburg...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
A Danish man accused of mutilating women in South Africa and storing their genitals in his freezer has been convicted of dozens of charges. Peter Frederiksen was found guilty of 36 offences in the Free State High Court on Monday including producing child pornography, raping a minor and conspiracy to murder, local media reported. Frederiksen, a gun shop owner in his 60s, pleaded not guilty to all charges. He will be sentenced at a later hearing. Twenty charges related to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday heard the state's case to lengthen the jail term of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius for murdering his girlfriend. Here is a timeline of events following the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. - 2013 - February 14: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home. February 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged,...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
A son of a wealthy South African family on trial for killing his parents and a brother with an axe on Tuesday recounted the grisly attack which he has blamed on intruders. Henri van Breda, 22, who has pleaded not guilty, calmly took to the witness stand for the first time since the trial opened in April in the Western Cape High Court. The former University of Melbourne student is alleged to have killed his 21-year-old brother Rudi and parents...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
Hundreds of people gathered in Cape Town on Monday to observe Black Monday, an event dedicated to farmers who have fallen victim to rampant crime. Wearing black clothes, protesters began to converge at Cape Town Stadium under blazing sun in the morning. As more people arrived, the Helen Suzman Boulevard became gridlocked. Many motorbikes, cars and even tractors joined the protesters, with a police helicopter hovered overhead. The participants kneeled on the ground to pray for the murdered farmers and...
(Bloomberg 10/31/17)
South Africa’s jobless remained at a 14-year high in the third quarter as the continent’s most-industrialized economy staged a weak recovery from a recession. The unemployment rate was 27.7 percent, matching the previous two quarters’ figures, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in Cape Town. The economy expanded 2.5 percent in the three months ended June 30, exiting its second recession in almost a decade after agricultural output surged. Last week, the National Treasury almost halved...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Thousands of white farmers blocked roads in South Africa on Monday to protest against what they say is an explosion of violence against their communities in rural areas. Large demonstrations under the "Black Monday" banner were held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria. Marchers dressed in black to commemorate the victims of hundreds of deadly "farm attacks" in recent years. The protest actions halted traffic on main roads and forced police to divert vehicles on several major routes...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Tanzania has deported three South African lawyers arrested last week for "promoting homosexuality", their organisation said in a statement. The Initiative for Strategic Litigation (ISLA) in Africa said that the three had been "deported earlier this evening", in the statement dated Friday. The lawyers were amongst a group of 13 people, including a Ugandan and Tanzanians, who were arrested last Tuesday at the Peacock hotel in Dar es Salaam. Local police chief Lazaro Mambosasa said they had been "promoting homosexuality".
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Weeks of gruelling testimonies at an inquiry in South Africa have tried to answer an unfathomable question -- how authorities allowed 141 mentally-ill patients to die after being moved out of a hospital. The evidence presented has been a litany of neglect, incompetence and cruelty that lawyer Dirk Groenewald described as "the greatest human rights violation since the dawn of democracy" in South Africa. Every day, families of the victims have told shocking stories of how their loved ones were...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
A South African judge on Friday handed down jail terms of 19 and 16 years to two white farmers who filmed themselves forcing a black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive. Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, who both shifted nervously in the dock, laid their heads on the bench after their sentencing while female family members wept in the public gallery. "The conduct of the accused was most dehumanising and disgusting," said judge Segopotje Mphahlele,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/27/17)
MIDDELBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - Two white South African farmers who were filmed pushed a wailing black man into a coffin were sentenced to jail on Friday for attempted murder, assault and kidnapping. The 20-second video, widely circulated on social media last year, shows the victim, Victor Mlotshwa, cowering inside a coffin as one man pushes the lid down and the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside. The defendants - Theo Jackson, sentenced to 14 years, and...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
South Africa's murder rate rose by 1.8 percent in the last year, with over 19,000 people killed across the country -- 52 a day -- official statistics released Tuesday showed. The eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal, which is hit by political violence, recorded the highest number of murders, followed by Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria. "Over the past four financial years, murder has reflected an upward trend. We need a combative and decisive policing when we deal with...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...

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(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
US authorities have arrested Hong Kong's former home affairs secretary and the ex-foreign minister of Senegal for leading a multimillion dollar bribery scheme in Africa on behalf of a top Chinese energy company, with some deals arranged in the halls of the United Nations. US officials announced Monday that former Senegalese top diplomat Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong's Patrick Chi Ping Ho sent huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for the Chinese company. The company was not identified in the announcement or the complaint filed in New York federal district court, but details in the complaint pointed to CEFC China Energy, the Shanghai-based rising star of China's energy...
(Reuters 11/17/17)
South Africa’s rand raced to a two-week high against the dollar on Friday as the greenback came under pressure after a report that investigators probing possible Russian interference in the U.S. election had subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s election campaign for documents. Bourse heavyweight Naspers helped push South African stocks higher. At 1511 GMT, the rand was trading at 14.0450 per dollar, 0.8 percent firmer than its close on Thursday. The currency had touched a session high of 13.9575, its firmest since Nov. 2. “Basically the dollar weakness is making us look good,” said currency strategist at IG Markets Shaun Murison. “The dollar has been on the back foot following the re-emergence of concerns relating to Russia’s involvement in U.S. elections.”...
(Bloomberg 11/14/17)
South African banks are preparing for the worst when it comes to the threat of another downgrade of the country’s debt. “FirstRand anticipated the downgrades since 2015 and has been working on a number of proactive strategies to mitigate the impact,” said Andries du Toit, the treasurer at Johannesburg-based FirstRand Ltd., the country’s second-biggest bank by assets. The measures included adjusting credit origination, and boosting liquidity and capital buffers, he said. The credit ratings of the continent’s largest lenders such...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa will launch an inquiry into weak tax collection by the revenue service after receiving the approval of President Jacob Zuma, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday. Gigaba shocked financial markets last month by flagging wider deficits and rising government debt in a closely watched budget speech, attributing the dismal forecasts to sluggish growth and low tax receipts. On Tuesday he told a news conference that Zuma had granted his request for an inquiry by a judge into the administration and governance of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). He added that the inquiry would be set up soon. “It is critical for government to determine the cause of the tax...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Finnish network equipment maker Nokia will trial its 5G technology in South Africa in collaboration with Vodacom Group, the firms said on Tuesday, as they seek to provide faster data delivery. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Vodacom, Nokia will share its latest 5G innovations including among other things massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas, AirScale Radio Access and end-to-end Mobile Anyhaul transport networks to test how they can be used to meet changing demand in the country. “As...
(Bloomberg 10/31/17)
South Africa’s main government workers’ pension fund is seeking permission to invest more cash in international assets to protect against the impact of a possible downgrade of the country’s local-currency debt to junk status. The Government Employees Pension Fund is in talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba about easing its investment criteria to include more foreign bonds and equities, Abel Sithole, principal executive officer, told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The GEPF currently has 1 percent of its 1.7 trillion rand ....
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - MTN sees a $4.2 billion claim by Turkcell in a South African court over a disputed Iranian mobile phone license as “opportunistic” and “baseless”, the company said on Tuesday after filing a defense plea. Turkcell first sued MTN in a U.S. court in 2012, alleging the company used bribery and wrongful influence to win a lucrative Iranian license that was originally awarded to Turkcell. It dropped the suit a year later after U.S. Supreme Court ruling in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Barclays Africa (BGAJ.J) and Standard Bank (SBKJ.J) said on Monday they would stop working with McKinsey, a further blow to the global consultancy as it faces allegations of bribery for work done with friends of South African President Jacob Zuma. Privately-held McKinsey, the world’s largest management consultancy, has denied doing anything illegal but said this month that it was embarrassed by mistakes it made while working with South African state utility Eskom last year. McKinsey said it regretted working on a 1.6 billion rand ($113 million) contract at Eskom...
(Agence Ecofin 10/31/17)
During a café rencontre organized by Business Report, the American businessman Harold Doley Junior revealed that a consortium of international investors led by his organization pland to invest $1 billion in South Africa. “I am a firm believer that Africa can, and will, fulfil its potential for growth and create opportunities, especially for young people. It is with this in mind, and after many decades of involvement with Africa, that I am leading a group of notable international investors, who...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
South Africa's finance minister received some faint praise last week -- not for the economy's performance, but for admitting the country is in a dire position that is set to get worse. Malusi Gigaba delivered a mid-term budget that laid bare South Africa's struggle with slow growth, tax income shortfalls, rising debt and high unemployment. The daunting challenges recently caused business confidence to dip to the lowest level since the apartheid era -- reflecting wider fears that the achievements of...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Tunnels coursing through the bowels of the earth under the city of Johannesburg contain precious treasure -- copper cables that are being stripped out and smuggled as far away as Asia. As in many other parts of the world, copper cable theft is not new in South Africa, but lately it has reached an unprecedented scale. A recent brazen theft knocked out power and plunged the central business district of Johannesburg, the economic hub, into darkness, largely paralysing business for...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
South Africa faces mounting debt and a widening fiscal deficit, the finance minister said Wednesday, as he cut the country's growth forecast in a pessimistic mid-term budget statement. Malusi Gigaba told parliament in Cape Town that "the period ahead is not going to be an easy one", as South Africa struggles with high unemployment and political turmoil in the ruling ANC party. "It is not in the public interest, nor is it in the interest of government, to sugar-coat the...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The South African government on Thursday removed the head of troubled state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA), which is deeply in debt and struggling to stay in the air. Chairwoman Dudu Myeni, a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, will be replaced by Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza, the finance ministry announced in a boardroom sweep-out. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba "hopes that the new board... will implement the airline's structural strategy and bring it to financial stability," it said in a statement. The government was last month forced to bail out the loss-making carrier to avoid it defaulting on a 3 billion-rand ($221 million) loan, and refinancing of further debt is under negotiation.
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) - South Africa’s central bank on Monday refuted claims that it has instructed banks on what steps they should take against auditing firm KPMG, which has fallen from grace for its close working relations with the controversial Gupta family, APA has learnt. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said it “has not instructed banks on what steps they should or could not take with regards to their contracts with KPMG.” “As stated by SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago in a statement issued at the Monetary Policy...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) - South Africa’s main power utility Eskom on Monday expressed concern at media reports on its newly-appointed interim group chief executive Sean Maritz, only days after his appointment. “We have noted with concern recent media reports with unsubstantiated allegations against Mr Maritz. We plead that he be given a chance to lead Eskom,” the power utility said. The media reports come after Eskom’s announcement on Friday that it had appointed Maritz to the top post. The Eskom Board announced that it has decided to rotate the current executives for this role to “ensure exposure” to the senior management. Maritz was the utility’s Chief Information Officer and Group Executive for Information...

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(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber. The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise. Porto midfielder Brahimi was lucky to still be on the field after escaping with a yellow card for head-butting Shehu 12 minutes from time. Nigeria went ahead on 62 minutes when John Ogu pounced on a weak clearance by Aissa Mandi and rifled the ball past Faouzi Chaouchi into the roof of the net. A heated second half that threatened to get out of...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says his team have "knives to their throats" as they attempt an extraordinary qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Bottom-of-the-table Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Senegal in Polokwane and Dakar between Friday and Tuesday and must win both matches to snatch first place in Group D. Senegal top the table with eight points from four matches, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have six from five, and South Africa four from four. South Africa and Senegal have an extra match because the 2-1 win by Bafana last November was annulled due to FIFA finding the Ghanaian referee guilty of "match manipulation". Africa will send five teams to Russia next year and three places are still up...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South African prosecutors argued Friday that Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder must be increased, saying he failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend. The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday heard the state's case to lengthen the jail term of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius for murdering his girlfriend. Here is a timeline of events following the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. - 2013 - February 14: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home. February 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged,...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Competition Commission of South Africa has taken the South African Football Intermediaries Association (Safia) and 36 members of the body representing soccer agents to a tribunal in relation to alleged price-fixing in the sport. The commission referred the agents to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution following an investigation into their activities found that they were overcharging their clients by seven percent in defiance of a Fifa recommendation to charge only three percent. The body said...
(AFP 10/06/17)
South Africa's new Global T20 league will go ahead, Cricket South Africa pledged on Friday, but it is expected to lose money for the first two seasons. No broadcast deal has yet been signed but CSA vice-president and acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said negotiations were well-advanced. "It is just a matter of agreeing the finer details," he said. Moroe said a deal in the region of US $70-80 million (60 million euros-68 million euros) was being sought, but admitted...
(AFP 10/05/17)
La Nouvelle-Zélande, déjà assurée de conserver son titre dans le Rugby Championship, va malgré tout aligner sa meilleure équipe pour la dernière journée, samedi au Cap contre l'Afrique du Sud. Ainsi, les cinq joueurs qui avaient été ménagés la semaine passée contre l'Argentine (victoire 36-10) ont été rappelés, et le sélectionneur Steve Hansen devra juste se passer de Brodie Retallick, retourné auprès des siens en raison de problèmes familiaux. Hansen a souligné que même déjà titrés, les All Blacks ne...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/17)
The 2018 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed on either November 8 or November 9, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) said on Friday. The FSF said FIFA had decided on the possible dates for the rearranged game, with the initial 2-1 South Africa victory on November 12, 2016 having been chalked off after the match was manipulated by referee Joseph Lamptey. The Ghanaian awarded South Africa a controversial penalty in the original Group D encounter...
(Times Live 09/26/17)
There will be a familiar look about the Burkina Faso squad for next weekend’s Fifa World Cup qualifier against South Africa at FNB Stadium with a 24-man squad chosen‚ packed with regulars who have already had considerable experience against Bafana Bafana. The likes of Aristide Bance‚ Charles Kabore‚ Bakary Kone and the Traore brothers Alain and Bertrand are among those making the trip for the match on Saturday‚ October 7‚ But Jonathan Pitroipa will not make the trip to SA...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
India will play three Test matches in South Africa this season, the boards of both countries announced on Wednesday. The first Test will start in Cape Town on January 5 while details of the remaining two Tests as well as six one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals will be announced later. South Africa will also stage its first day-night Test, planned as a four-day match against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth from December 26 to 29. Wednesday's announcement followed negotiations which...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr...
(Times Live 09/08/17)
The Free State Cheetahs will somehow have to stem the bleeding with a callow team when they take on Western Province at Newlands in a Currie Cup match on Saturday. The Cheetahs come into the match on the back of 45-15 loss against the Sharks last weekend and nothing suggests that their squad‚ staffed mainly by Varsity Cup players‚ will be able to live with WP. The Cape side have a vastly experience unit filled with Super Rugby players and...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/07/17)
FIFA has ordered the World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal, played in November 2016, to be replayed after the referee was banned for life. FIFA said in March that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had been banned for life after they found him guilty of unlawfully influencing a match result following South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in African Group D. FIFA did not give further details but African soccer’s governing body (CAF) said at the time that Lamptey...
(AFP (eng) 09/02/17)
Nigeria hammered African champions Cameroon Friday to virtually seal a 2018 World Cup place, but Ghana drew and South Africa lost to suffer serious qualifying setbacks. Current and former Chelsea midfielders Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel scored one goal and created another as Nigeria overwhelmed Cameroon 4-0 in southeast city Uyo. A late strike from Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-1 home draw for lacklustre Ghana against Congo Brazzaville in Kumasi. Russia-based Nuno Rocha broke the hearts...
(Times Live 08/30/17)
Eyebrows were raised after former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba declared his loyal and passionate support for the national team ahead of Friday's away 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. Mashaba was at the helm when the World Cup qualification programme began last year but the burly mentor was suspended after a heated altercation with South African Football Association (Safa) officials in November last year and was later fired. He was sacked for “gross misconduct‚ insubordination and violating...
(Times Live 08/29/17)
Bafana Bafana will have Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi in their corner when they face Cape Verde in a must-win 2018 World Cup qualifier in Praia on Friday night. Coach Stuart Baxter's charges were expected to depart for Cape Verde on Tuesday morning and Nxesi said it was important for government to support Bafana‚ given the magnitude of the match. “The national team needs all the arsenal and the boost they can get to ensure that they go over this...
(News24 08/23/17)
A wide range of allegations of maladministration at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) will be the subject of a ministerial committee of inquiry, Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on Wednesday. This comes amid fears that the ructions at Sascoc could affect Team SA's preparation for next year's Commonwealth Games. Nxesi also announced a ministerial committee of inquiry into last month's tragedy at the FNB Stadium, in which two football fans died from injuries sustained during a...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Jailed South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius briefly left his Pretoria prison on Wednesday to attend his grandmother's funeral. "He left in the morning under supervision of our officials and by 20-minutes-past-one he was back at the facility," Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo told AFP. He was driven from Atteridgeville prison in Pretoria after he had been granted permission to bury his maternal grandmother‚ Joyce Bekker, who according to local media, died last week aged 93. The funeral took place...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Olympic champion Caster Semenya maintained her two-year unbeaten record over 800 meters as she eased through the first round at the World Championships on Thursday. Her main challengers, Francine Niyonsaba, Margaret Wambui and Ajee Wilson, also cruised into Friday's semi-finals but defending champion Maryna Arzamasova was eliminated after finishing fourth in her heat. South African Semenya, last beaten at the World Championships semi-final in Beijing two years ago, was third going into the final straight and eased past Rose Mary...
(Times Live 08/10/17)
Oupa Manyisa may be a shadow of the player he was at the peak of his powers but Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana expects their recent acquisition to regain his bearings in his new surroundings and fire from all cylinders again. The 29-year-old Manyisa‚ who joined the Brazillians on a three-year deal last week‚ joined his new teammates on the last day of their mini pre-season camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg on Saturday morning and Kekana says...

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(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
The sequel to Nelson Mandela's celebrated autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" will be released on Thursday after his unfinished draft was completed by a South African writer, his foundation announced. Titled "Dare not Linger", the book tells of Mandela's five years as president after the end of apartheid and the first multi-race elections in South Africa in 1994. "Long Walk to Freedom", published shortly after the election, was a global best-seller, selling more than 14 million copies, and was turned into a film starring Idris Elba. Mandela wrote 10 chapters of his follow-up memoir by hand on loose paper and in files between 1998 and 2002, when he stopped working on it due to his...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
The family of jailed Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius said Tuesday that it would pursue legal action over a coming US film about his murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In a statement, the Pistorius family said neither it nor the Steenkamps were consulted about the film, "Blade Runner Killer", which is set to premiere on the Lifetime network in the US on November 11. The athlete's family criticised the project for not being a "true reflection" of the shooting nor of Pistorius's marathon trial which gripped the world. "The 'film' is a gross misrepresentation of the truth," the family said in a statement. "We will be taking legal action." Pistorius, 30, is serving a six-year prison term for killing Steenkamp...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(The Citizen 08/25/17)
The unit will also investigate staff members who have undisclosed or unauthorised interests in companies that have done business with the public broadcaster. President Jacob Zuma has given the greenlight for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate any wrongdoing at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), his office said on Friday. The proclamation, signed by Zuma, gives the SIU the authority to investigate irregularities and criminality relating to the procurement of “goods, works or services or on behalf of...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
South Africa entered an economic recession in June, and the country’s unemployment rate is fast approaching 30 percent, according to the government statistics agency. But for the sellers of secondhand books, business has never been better. Eric Nofal, who has been selling used books for almost 30 years, shows a customer around his store in Johannesburg. He says he recently faced “intense” competition before launching his fifth bookshop in the city. “My ex-wife also wanted to open up a shop...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Africa has several new sites on the United Nations world heritage list, including an old royal capital in Angola, the Eritrean capital of Asmara and a desert area in South Africa that was inhabited during the Stone Age. UNESCO said this weekend at a meeting in Poland that Mbanza Kongo in northwest Angola was the capital of the Kongo kingdom, a largely independent state between the 14th and 19th centuries. The U.N. cultural agency says Asmara, which experienced large-scale construction...
(Xinhuanet 06/01/17)
China-South Africa relations are expected to be lifted to new heights with increasing cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two BRICS countries. Lucas Banda, an international relations expert at the Midrand University, cited the tourism sector as a highlight of the trend. "Chinese arrivals were up 93 percent in 2016," Banda told Xinhua. Chinese tourists to South Africa increased by 56 percent during the period from January to October in 2016 compared to a year earlier, showed data from South...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/26/17)
The exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the widely-held view that humanity’s evolutionary roots lay in Africa. An exhibit of the largest collection of fossils of close human relatives ever to go on public display opened on Thursday in South Africa, not far from the caves where they were unearthed. Launched on Africa Day in an area named “The Cradle of Humankind,” the exhibit coincides with the publication of a controversial paper that questions the...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(Business Day 05/10/17)
The SABC wants the Broadcasting Act to be changed so that those watching TV via electronic devices can be charged a TV licence fee. The shock proposal was made by acting CEO James Aguma in Parliament on Wednesday while presenting a corporate plan for the 2017-18 financial year to the portfolio committee on communications. The cash-strapped SABC is scrambling to find new revenue streams amid plummeting audience rates that are repelling advertisers who used to spend hundreds of million of...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
South African visual artist William Kentridge, best known for his animated films of shape-shifting charcoal drawings, won on Thursday Spain's top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award. The prize jury hailed Kentridge, 62, as "one of the most multifaceted innovative artists on the international scene" in its citation for the 50,000 euros ($57,000) award. His work "has expressed emotions and metaphors related to the history and reality of his country which nonetheless transcend the latter and raise essential questions regarding the human condition," it added. Born in Johannesburg in 1955, Kentridge's parents were both lawyers specialised in defending the victims of the apartheid white minority rule in South Africa.
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
A painting by a South African artist showing President Jacob Zuma raping the late Nelson Mandela has caused outrage in the country, with the ruling party Friday describing it as "grotesque". The piece by controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu shows Zuma seated on a red chair, penetrating a crying Mandela. Both men have their legs wide apart, exposing their genitals. The African National Congress and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have condemned the colourful artwork titled: "The economy of rape". "Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste,"
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
About two years ago, blues-folk artist Alice Phoebe Lou gave a performance in a park in Berlin, looking for donations as a street entertainer. A listener invited her to perform at a function. Her career has since taken off. Last year, she released her debut record, and on Wednesday she played one of the world's premier music festivals: the South by Southwest event in Texas. Lou is just one of a growing list of South African musicians who've felt compelled...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
Portia Lekgoto faced a dilemma: how to take her three-year-old daughter to a doctor without missing a day of work while waiting in line at one of only two public health clinics in the South African shantytown of Diepsloot. She decided to take her daughter to Quali Health, a new private clinic that a friend had told her about. While she had to pay 250 rand ($19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Esther Mahlangu's colourful geometric artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world, but she remains in her South African village unfazed by fame and determined to preserve her ethnic Ndebele culture. The 81-year-old painter and mural artist earned an international reputation with her Ndebele motifs at a time when the art scene in her home country was focused on contemporary styles. Now Johannesburg is hosting a major exhibition for Mahlangu, an elderly black woman with no art training who rose...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
A jury in Warsaw on Monday named South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach as the recipient of the 2017 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, named after the anti-communist Polish poet and philosopher. "I'm pleased that this year the jury has chosen a poet who combines great talent with the attitude of an uncompromising man who sides with the oppressed," said Katarzyna Herbert, the widow of the poet who died in 1998, as she announced the winner. Born in...
(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...

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(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
South Africa’s government is open to talks over the country’s much-criticized mining charter but the industry must do more to benefit the black majority, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said. The mining industry, represented by the Chamber of Mines, has rejected the government’s new rules, saying extra levies and black-economic empowerment requirements threaten to curb the appeal of investing in projects. A judicial review of the legislation is scheduled to be held in December, in which Zwane must justify the new measures to a bench of judges. The charter, which was published in the Government Gazette in June, is “a living document that’s the subject of the court,” Zwane said in a speech in Johannesburg...
(Financial Times 09/28/17)
Cosatu backs Ramaphosa to succeed the president as ANC leader. South Africa’s biggest trade union federation brought thousands of workers on to the streets of cities to protest against corruption under President Jacob Zuma, and demand that Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, replace him. Wednesday’s national strike, organised by Cosatu, which has 1.7m members, and the South African Communist party, took place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and other big cities across the country. That the protest was even called for reveals the deep fractures within the ruling African National Congress over Mr Zuma’s scandal-hit leadership — including his ties to the Gupta business family — as Cosatu and the Communist party are part of the ruling African National Congress alliance...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
As the battle to succeed South African President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress grows increasingly fractious, party Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize is emerging as a possible compromise choice to keep the continent’s oldest political movement from tearing itself apart. While the race for the top job is widely seen as a head-to-head contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Mkhize, a 61-year-old medical doctor, has two advantages: he’s stayed above the infighting and has strong support in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nation’s nine provinces.
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
South Africa’s potential bailout of the state-owned airline could place pressure on the nation’s finances because other government-run companies that are cash-strapped and mismanaged may come to expect the same, Moody’s Investors Service said. “It generates moral hazards because then larger state-owned enterprises see it and there perhaps will be the perception that the government will always come and bail out, without reforms,” Zuzana Brixiova, Moody’s senior vice president for sovereign risk and its lead analyst for South Africa, said...
(AL Jazeera 09/28/17)
Trade union confederation says time has come for 'workers and citizens to stand up and push back against this rot'. Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in cities across South Africa to protest against government corruption, state capture and job losses. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), both in alliance with the ruling ANC, say the strike on Wednesday is largely against corruption, but the call to take to...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he won’t ask Africa’s biggest money manager to provide funds to bail out state-owned companies that will put the pensions of government workers at risk. “There is no attempt to dip into pensions for reasons that are unscrupulous,” Gigaba told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday after a meeting with the board of the Public Investment Corp. The event was scheduled after media reports said that the National Treasury is seeking to use PIC...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
South Africa’s biggest labor organization urged workers to strike on Wednesday to protest against what it called “the cancer of corruption” spreading among business and government leaders and threatening the nation’s democracy under President Jacob Zuma. The action is the boldest step yet by the Congress of South African Trade Unions to pile pressure on Zuma, whom it helped to win control of the ruling African National Congress in 2007 and then turned against after he fired Pravin Gordhan as...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
The South African High Court in Pretoria has restricted access to 1.75 billion rand ($130 million) in rehabilitation-trust accounts for two mines owned by companies linked to the politically connected Gupta family, according to The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, a civic action group. The interim order directs India’s Bank of Baroda to continue to hold the trust funds of the Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines in accounts in the trusts’ names, the group said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
David Mabuza, premier of South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, said the ruling African National Congress needs to coalesce around a unifying candidate at a December conference where leaders will be elected to end infighting that is damaging the party. Factions backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former head of the African Union and an ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, and Cyril Ramaphosa, the country’s deputy president, are “far apart,” Mabuza said on Monday on The Justice Factor, a program screened by...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Financial Times 09/23/17)
Government departments told to examine relationships with firm after political scandal. South Africa’s finance minister has told all government departments to review their relationship with KPMG in response to the accounting firm’s role in a political scandal over links between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma. In a statement published yesterday, South African finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in March, said he had “deep concerns about audit matters currently surrounding KPMG”. “These developments further threaten to undermine...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
South Africa’s Treasury is pressuring the continent’s biggest money manager to provide as much as 100 billion rand ($7.6 billion) to fund struggling state companies, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The Public Investment Corp., which manages state-employee pension funds and has about 1.86 trillion rand in assets, has been asked by the Treasury to buy its entire 12-billion-rand stake in Telkom SA SOC Ltd. to pay for a bailout of South African Airways, said the people,...
(Bloomberg 09/23/17)
Much of the focus around Indian mining tycoon Anil Agarwal’s pursuit of Anglo American Plc has been the company’s South African operations. But Botswana could be similarly important. Botswana is the source of about two-thirds of Anglo’s diamonds and the country is a major stakeholder in De Beers, the world’s biggest gem producer. There are few countries as dependent on a single commodity as Botswana is with diamonds and the nation is highly protective of the industry. So far Botswana...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has instructed Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to begin legal action against companies including McKinsey & Co. over their involvement in disputed contracts at the country’s state-owned electricity company. Brown ordered Eskom to start taking legal steps against consultancy firms McKinsey and Trillian Capital Partners Ltd., as well as suspended acting Chief Executive Officer Matshela Koko and Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh, who is on special leave, her spokesman, Colin Cruywagen, said by phone...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Africa’s biggest fund manager may be dumped by a labor federation representing 230,000 South African state workers because it’s concerned that the funds of its members may be used to bail out mismanaged state-owned companies. The Federation of Unions of South Africa, the country’s second-largest labor union grouping, is considering replacing the state-owned Public Investment Corp. with privately owned fund managers to oversee the pension funds of the state workers, including nurses and teachers, that it represents. “There is nothing...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
Companies controlled by the Guptas lost a court bid to prevent Bank of Baroda from shutting their accounts, which would leave the politically connected family without banking services in South Africa from the end of this month. Judge Hans Fabricius dismissed the application of 20 companies linked to the Gupta family and awarded costs against them at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday. The Bank of Baroda was the family’s last hope after a series of lenders, including South Africa’s...
(Bloomberg 09/22/17)
With its surprise decision to leave rates on hold on Thursday, South Africa’s central bank may have shut its policy-easing window. Forward-rate agreements, which had been pricing in a 25 basis-point reduction in the benchmark rate this year, now suggest the South African Reserve Bank will be forced to stay put as central banks around the world move toward tighter policy. The rate on contracts starting in three months jumped 19 basis points, moving to within 10 points from the...
(Bloomberg 09/21/17)
The top leadership of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress starts meeting on Friday in a bid to heal a bitter split in the key region of KwaZulu-Natal that could derail its plans to elect a successor to President Jacob Zuma as party leader in December. The three-day meeting comes after the High Court annulled the election of Zuma allies as the province’s party leadership because the conference that chose them wasn’t lawfully convened. While the officials who lost the...
(Financial Times 09/20/17)
Consumer price growth in South Africa picked up in August after striking its lowest level since 2015 in the previous month, underscoring the complex situation for the country’s central bank as it looks to bolster economic output but ease inflation. The consumer price index rose 4.8 per cent in August from the previous year, up from 4.6 per cent in July, according to official statistics. Economists had forecast a reading of 4.9 per cent. Africa’s most industrialised economy emerged from...

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