Monday 22 May 2017

Afrique du Sud

(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
South Africa risks becoming a "mafia state", Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa warned Sunday, calling for a corruption probe at the top as he stepped up criticism of President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa is one of the main candidates to succeed Zuma as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of general elections expected in 2019. For some months he has been making attacks on the president, implicated in a series of corruption scandals, notably after a controversial reshuffle at the end of March which ousted respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan. "If the ANC is to recover its leadership role in society, then it is absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose and...
(Bloomberg 05/22/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest corn grower, will probably increase its forecast for a bumper crop of the staple grain for a third time this year as yields continue to beat expectations. Growers may reap 14.65 million metric tons of corn this year, according to the median estimate of three analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with the 14.54 million tons forecast on April 25 by the government’s Crop Estimates Committee and would be the country’s second-largest harvest on record, only just trailing 1981’s 14.66 million tons. The committee will update its forecast on May 26. South Africa’s corn harvest is seen rebounding sharply from last season’s nine-year low, after rainfall increased following the worst drought since records...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
A blast on Monday at South Africa's Natref oil refinery injured 11 people and forced the shutdown of operations close to the 108,000 barrel per day facility but production at the main refinery continued, Sasol said. Sasol reported on its website that the explosion happened at about 0545 GMT at the country's only inland refinery, a venture between the petrochemicals group Sasol and a South African unit of France's Total. "Operating units in the vicinity of the hydrogen compressors have been shut down," Sasol spokesman Alex Anderson said in an emailed statement, adding...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
Angolan soldiers recruited by South Africa's apartheid government to fight against their homeland now live in squalor, forgotten and unwanted. Without healthcare, jobs or basic services, some 3,000 Angolan-born men call home the town of Pomfret in a far-flung northern corner of South Africa on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Dilapidated buildings crumble by the side of the town's sun-baked main road, water and power are cut off, and the asbestos factory that once sustained the region was abandoned...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, seen as a top contender to lead the ruling ANC into 2019 general elections, said on Sunday that the country must not become a "mafia state" as he admitted his party had become associated with corruption. Ramaphosa's comments were among the strongest he has made on governance as the race heats up to replace President Jacob Zuma, whose administration has been hit by scandals and missteps, prompting street protests and calls for him to...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored...
(AFP (eng) 05/21/17)
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Pretoria on Saturday, angered by a rise in violence against women and children in South Africa, including killings and sex attacks. Answering the call by a group calling itself "#Not In My Name" the protesters, most of them men, marched through the streets of the South African capital behind a woman symbolically dressed head to toe in white. "The time to take collective responsibility for our shameful action is now," said Kholofelo...
(The Guardian 05/20/17)
Report questions why taxpayers should finance the project, which would have an export edge over Australia’s coal ports. An Australian government agency is considering a multi-million dollar loan to a South African coal mine that would be in direct competition with the Adani Carmichael coal mine. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is considering the loan to develop the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The Boikarabelo mine has approval to extract 32m tonnes a year of raw coal, making it of similar size to some proposals in Australia’s Galilee Basin. With Efic’s help, the project could lead to the development of one
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that a spate of violent attacks against women and children represented a national "crisis" as he visited the family of a three-year old girl who was raped and killed. South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of violent crime but a string of grisly murders of women and children has sparked widespread outrage, with Zuma's visit underscoring the growing political significance of the issue. "We as the citizens of this...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(Bloomberg 05/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for economic growth in South Africa, saying that the end of the worst drought in more than a century will lift agricultural production while rising commodity prices will boost mining. The Washington-based lender forecast growth of 1 percent for Africa’s most-industrialized economy in 2017, up from the 0.8 percent prediction it made in April. The consumer inflation rate will probably fall below the 6 percent upper limit of the central bank’s target rate...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
The influential South African Council of Churches has warned corruption is turning South Africa into a "mafia state" under a government that intimidates whistleblowers, local media reported on Friday. In unusually frank comments from the council (SACC), its secretary general Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana was cited as saying President Jacob Zuma's government had "lost the moral radar". The criticism puts more pressure on Zuma, who in past weeks has faced calls to resign from within his own ruling African National Congress...
(Independent Online 05/19/17)
Johannesburg - General Motors’ (GM) decision to disinvest from South Africa and stop manufacturing and sales of Chevrolet in the domestic market was based strictly on a global decision on where it believed it could get the best return on investment. “It was not influenced by local economic or political considerations,” said Ritch Schaafsma, General Motors’ international vice-president yesterday. “After considered assessment we determined that continued or increased investment in manufacturing in South Africa would not provide GM with the...
(Business Day 05/19/17)
SA was ranked 119 out of 195 countries in the Healthcare Access and Quality Index published by medical journal Lancet on Friday. This placed SA one rank below Namibia. SA received a score of 52 points. The country with the best score, Andorra, received 95 followed by 94 for Iceland and 92 for Switzerland. Central African Republic received the worst score of 29, with Afghanistan and Somalia rounding off the bottom three, with scores of 32 and 34 respectively. Although...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
After months of attacks by opposition parties, labor unions and the courts, South African President Jacob Zuma now appears to be on a collision course with a more dangerous adversary: his own ruling African National Congress. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said this week that the party told Zuma’s administration to rescind a decision to reappoint Brian Molefe, who’d been implicated in a graft probe, as the head of the state power utility. Last month three of the party’s top six...
(Business Day 05/18/17)
The rand was sharply weaker at midday on Thursday as fallout from a renewed Brazilian scandal affected emerging market sentiment. Global trading was clearly risk-off as US Treasuries and the Japanese yen gained in safe-haven trade. According to reports, Brazilian President Michel Temer tried to bribe officials involved in last year’s impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff. The allegations, based on apparent secret recordings, sent Brazil’s real currency and the Bovespa stock index sharply lower. Brazil has attracted large capital...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
General Motors Co plans to quit selling vehicles in India by the end of this year and will sell operations in South Africa, the latest steps in a strategy of focusing cash and engineering effort on fewer, more profitable markets. The Detroit automaker said on Thursday it will take a $500 million charge in the second quarter to restructure operations in India, Africa and Singapore. It will cancel most of a planned $1 billion investment to build a new line...
(Business Day 05/18/17)
Justice Minister Michael Masutha is in talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba over the restoration of the special advisory council which was legislatively provided for under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) of 2002 but then abolished under this year’s amendments to the legislation. The council was never established but Masutha said at a media briefing ahead of his budget vote speech in the National Assembly Thursday that it was "concerning" that the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act did away...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
Police recovered 25 bodies, believed to be those of illegal miners, from a disused Harmony Gold mine shaft, near an area where 76 illegal miners died in 2009 in what was one of South Africa's worst mining disasters. The bodies were recovered from the Eland shaft near the town of Welkom, following a gas explosion late last week, in an area where disused mines without commercially viable amounts of gold still hold enough deposits to attract illegal mining syndicates. Illegal...

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(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
A blast on Monday at South Africa's Natref oil refinery injured 11 people and forced the shutdown of operations close to the 108,000 barrel per day facility but production at the main refinery continued, Sasol said. Sasol reported on its website that the explosion happened at about 0545 GMT at the country's only inland refinery, a venture between the petrochemicals group Sasol and a South African unit of France's Total. "Operating units in the vicinity of the hydrogen compressors have been shut down," Sasol spokesman Alex Anderson said in an emailed statement, adding...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
Angolan soldiers recruited by South Africa's apartheid government to fight against their homeland now live in squalor, forgotten and unwanted. Without healthcare, jobs or basic services, some 3,000 Angolan-born men call home the town of Pomfret in a far-flung northern corner of South Africa on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Dilapidated buildings crumble by the side of the town's sun-baked main road, water and power are cut off, and the asbestos factory that once sustained the region was abandoned long ago. Former soldier Jose Lourenco, 69, a black Angolan, pointed to yellowing photos of "32 Battalion" -- his elite and much-feared South African unit -- in action in Angola against communist government forces. "We didn't fear anyone, we were...
(AFP (eng) 05/21/17)
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Pretoria on Saturday, angered by a rise in violence against women and children in South Africa, including killings and sex attacks. Answering the call by a group calling itself "#Not In My Name" the protesters, most of them men, marched through the streets of the South African capital behind a woman symbolically dressed head to toe in white. "The time to take collective responsibility for our shameful action is now," said Kholofelo...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that a spate of violent attacks against women and children represented a national "crisis" as he visited the family of a three-year old girl who was raped and killed. South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of violent crime but a string of grisly murders of women and children has sparked widespread outrage, with Zuma's visit underscoring the growing political significance of the issue. "We as the citizens of this...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
The influential South African Council of Churches has warned corruption is turning South Africa into a "mafia state" under a government that intimidates whistleblowers, local media reported on Friday. In unusually frank comments from the council (SACC), its secretary general Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana was cited as saying President Jacob Zuma's government had "lost the moral radar". The criticism puts more pressure on Zuma, who in past weeks has faced calls to resign from within his own ruling African National Congress...
(Business Day 05/19/17)
SA was ranked 119 out of 195 countries in the Healthcare Access and Quality Index published by medical journal Lancet on Friday. This placed SA one rank below Namibia. SA received a score of 52 points. The country with the best score, Andorra, received 95 followed by 94 for Iceland and 92 for Switzerland. Central African Republic received the worst score of 29, with Afghanistan and Somalia rounding off the bottom three, with scores of 32 and 34 respectively. Although...
(Business Day 05/18/17)
Justice Minister Michael Masutha is in talks with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba over the restoration of the special advisory council which was legislatively provided for under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) of 2002 but then abolished under this year’s amendments to the legislation. The council was never established but Masutha said at a media briefing ahead of his budget vote speech in the National Assembly Thursday that it was "concerning" that the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act did away...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
Police recovered 25 bodies, believed to be those of illegal miners, from a disused Harmony Gold mine shaft, near an area where 76 illegal miners died in 2009 in what was one of South Africa's worst mining disasters. The bodies were recovered from the Eland shaft near the town of Welkom, following a gas explosion late last week, in an area where disused mines without commercially viable amounts of gold still hold enough deposits to attract illegal mining syndicates. Illegal...
(AFP (eng) 05/17/17)
A South African who attempted to climb Mount Everest without permission has been arrested in Nepal where he faces a $22,000 fine -- double the cost of the permit he was trying to avoid. Ryan Sean Davy handed himself in to authorities in Kathmandu on Tuesday after being caught last week hiding in a cave near Everest's base camp without a permit. The 43-year-old began swearing and threatening officials from the tourism department during questioning and was arrested under Nepal's...
(BBC News Africa 05/17/17)
South African police say four people have been arrested in connection with the murder of former actor on popular local TV series Generations. Mandla Hlatshwayo and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto. The suspects were found in possession of drugs and an unlicensed gun. South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 50,000 cases reported every...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded...
(Independent Online 05/16/17)
Pretoria – Nigeria and South Africa are to deploy "cultural diplomacy’’ to effectively tackle the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa. Towards this, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria was keen to work with South Africa to put an end to the attacks by deploying the "soft power of cultural diplomacy’’, widely regarded as "an effective tool" in this regard. The minister made this known in Abuja on Friday, when...
(AL Jazeera 05/16/17)
Court hears case for secret ballot in no-confidence motion against Jacob Zuma amid allegations of intimidation of MPs. South Africa's top court is debating whether legislators can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma as hundreds protest in Johannesburg demanding his removal. Zuma, who has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals, has survived similar votes in the parliament the past. Baleka Mbete, parliament speaker and a senior official of Zuma's African National Congress (ANC),...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with...
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
A South African university on Wednesday condemned Nazi-inspired posters advertising a "Anglo-Afrikaner" meeting and said three students were being questioned over the furore. The posters -- which copy Nazi propaganda images -- sparked immediate complaints when they appeared on noticeboards at Stellenbosch University, outside Cape Town, on Tuesday. "The posters and advertised event promoting racial polarisation (and) superiority combined with highly offensive references to Nazi propaganda and Neo-Nazism are totally unacceptable," the university said. "We cannot condone views, events, publicity campaigns or innuendo that undermine our innate equality
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Protests in South Africa over a lack of access to housing, water and electricity that erupted in Johannesburg at the start of the week spread to parts of the capital, Pretoria, with police firing rubber bullets at a group who looted shops, barricaded roads and set tires and trash bins alight. Several people who joined the demonstrations in the Laudium township, southwest of Pretoria, were arrested and will face charges of public violence, Isaac Mahamba, a senior superintendent for the...
(Business Day 05/10/17)
The contracts between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the workstreams, appointed by Minister Bathabile Dlamini, are irregular. This is according to a letter, seen by Business Day, sent to Sassa CE Thokozani Magwaza from Treasury on May 5. Treasury did not approved the deviation from normal tender processes that led to their installation, meaning such an installation was illegal. “Sassa did not report the deviation within a prescribed 10 days or request prior approval from National Treasury...
(Mail & Guardian 05/10/17)
It has been widely reported, in both Kenya and South Africa, that the Kenyan government has issued a travel advisory, warning Kenyans against travel to South Africa. South Africa, apparently, is too dangerous. Except that’s not what happened. “The Government of the Republic of Kenya has not issued any travel warning barring her citizens from travelling to South Africa,” said Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement. According to the ministry, the warnings about crime and insecurity in South...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...

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(Bloomberg 05/22/17)
South Africa, the continent’s biggest corn grower, will probably increase its forecast for a bumper crop of the staple grain for a third time this year as yields continue to beat expectations. Growers may reap 14.65 million metric tons of corn this year, according to the median estimate of three analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with the 14.54 million tons forecast on April 25 by the government’s Crop Estimates Committee and would be the country’s second-largest harvest on record, only just trailing 1981’s 14.66 million tons. The committee will update its forecast on May 26. South Africa’s corn harvest is seen rebounding sharply from last season’s nine-year low, after rainfall increased following...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(The Guardian 05/20/17)
Report questions why taxpayers should finance the project, which would have an export edge over Australia’s coal ports. An Australian government agency is considering a multi-million dollar loan to a South African coal mine that would be in direct competition with the Adani Carmichael coal mine. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is considering the loan to develop the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The Boikarabelo mine has approval to extract 32m tonnes a year of raw coal, making it of similar size to some proposals in Australia’s Galilee Basin. With Efic’s help, the project could lead to the development of one
(Bloomberg 05/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for economic growth in South Africa, saying that the end of the worst drought in more than a century will lift agricultural production while rising commodity prices will boost mining. The Washington-based lender forecast growth of 1 percent for Africa’s most-industrialized economy in 2017, up from the 0.8 percent prediction it made in April. The consumer inflation rate will probably fall below the 6 percent upper limit of the central bank’s target rate...
(Independent Online 05/19/17)
Johannesburg - General Motors’ (GM) decision to disinvest from South Africa and stop manufacturing and sales of Chevrolet in the domestic market was based strictly on a global decision on where it believed it could get the best return on investment. “It was not influenced by local economic or political considerations,” said Ritch Schaafsma, General Motors’ international vice-president yesterday. “After considered assessment we determined that continued or increased investment in manufacturing in South Africa would not provide GM with the...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to...
(Business Day 05/18/17)
The rand was sharply weaker at midday on Thursday as fallout from a renewed Brazilian scandal affected emerging market sentiment. Global trading was clearly risk-off as US Treasuries and the Japanese yen gained in safe-haven trade. According to reports, Brazilian President Michel Temer tried to bribe officials involved in last year’s impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff. The allegations, based on apparent secret recordings, sent Brazil’s real currency and the Bovespa stock index sharply lower. Brazil has attracted large capital...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
General Motors Co plans to quit selling vehicles in India by the end of this year and will sell operations in South Africa, the latest steps in a strategy of focusing cash and engineering effort on fewer, more profitable markets. The Detroit automaker said on Thursday it will take a $500 million charge in the second quarter to restructure operations in India, Africa and Singapore. It will cancel most of a planned $1 billion investment to build a new line...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Fitch is very concerned that South Africa's economic and political situation is not improving, Fedusa said on Tuesday after it held talks with the ratings agency. In April, Fitch cut South Africa's debt to subinvestment, citing the recent cabinet reshuffle, when President Zuma fired his third finance minister in two years and which it feared would weaken standards of governance and public finances. Firing Pravin Gordhan and the subsequent sovereign downgrade rattled local markets and investors worldwide. The Federation of...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
The newly reinstated head of South Africa’s power utility has been accused of attempting to influence a former minister, reversed plans to close power plants that his predecessor claimed weren’t needed, and set the country’s ruling party against its president. He’s only been back on the job for two days. Brian Molefe, who returned as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s chief executive officer on Monday to staff posters welcoming back ‘Papa Action,’ was moved to tears when he left the role...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress told President Jacob Zuma’s government that it should rescind a decision to reappoint Brian Molefe as the chief executive officer of the state power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., party Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said. ANC officials told the government of their position at a meeting Monday attended by Zuma, Mantashe said by phone from Johannesburg. The ANC previously condemned the reappointment of Molefe, who resigned as head of Eskom in November after a graft probe questioned his conduct. “They should look into that; ideally they should reverse that decision,” Mantashe said on Tuesday.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
South Africa's Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Monday the treasury would use its 500 billion rand ($40 billion) annual procurement budget to transform the economy and give more support to black-owned businesses. "The strategic use of state procurement is an important lever to grow black business," Gigaba told a business dinner in Johannesburg. "The state getting value for money is important but this aim should be considered in conjunction with our economic history." Gigaba, appointed after President Jacob Zuma sacked his predecessor, has backed Zuma's aim of redistributing wealth to poor blacks
(BBC News Africa 05/16/17)
South Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, Vodacom, is buying a 35% stake in Kenya's largest mobile firm, Safaricom, for $2.6bn (£2bn). The stake in Safaricom is being sold by Vodafone as part of its drive to streamline its African businesses. The deal will extend the South African firm's influence in Kenya. It will also help increase the use of Safaricom's popular M-Pesa money transfer service across Africa. M-Pesa, launched 10 years ago in Kenya by Safaricom, lets people without bank...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to...
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
Vodafone Group Plc is simplifying its holdings in sub-Saharan Africa, selling a $2.6 billion stake in Kenya’s Safaricom Ltd. to its majority-owned Vodacom Group Ltd. The all-share deal will transfer a 35 percent stake in Safaricom to Vodacom in return for stock in the Johannesburg-based unit, raising the parent’s stake in its South African business to about 70 percent. Bloomberg News reported the deal on Sunday. The transaction gives Vodacom greater access to products such as M-Pesa, Safaricom’s fast-growing mobile-banking...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
South Africa plans to sign new, more transparent nuclear power agreements with five foreign countries after a high court blocked a deal with Russia due to a lack of oversight, the energy ministry said on Saturday. South Africa signed intergovernmental agreements with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the United States in 2014 as part of plans to build a fleet of nuclear power plants at a cost of between $30 billion and $70 billion. Many investors view the scale of the nuclear plan as unaffordable and a major risk to South Africa's financial stability, while opponents of President Jacob Zuma say the deal will be used as a conduit
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
The former chief executive of South Africa's state-owned power utility is to return to the post, officials said Friday, less than five months after he resigned over a corruption scandal that rocked the government. Brian Molefe, a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, resigned from Eskom and was sworn in as a member of parliament, with many observers expecting him to be promoted into the cabinet. But on Friday he stepped down as a lawmaker and was re-appointed to Eskom, in the latest surprise political move after Zuma sacked his respected finance minister in a cabinet purge in March. "Definitely‚ he is coming back on Monday," Eskom board spokesman Khulani Qoma told local media.
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
South Africa’s four biggest banks, criticized by President Jacob Zuma for doing too little to boost black participation in their companies, haven’t done themselves any favors. In the past decade, three boards have backslid on racial diversity and none of them reflects the country’s demographics. Of South Africa’s population of 56 million people, about 81 percent are black Africans, 8.1 percent are white and the rest are Indian, Asian or from a group referred to locally as coloreds, who were...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
South Africa's finance minister has sought to allay investor fears over his pledge of "radical economic transformation", toning down the rhetoric just over a month into the job to talk more of "inclusive growth". Malusi Gigaba, appointed after President Jacob Zuma sacked his predecessor Pravin Gordhan in a move that rattled markets, has backed Zuma's aim of redistributing wealth to poor blacks. While investors want the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to explain what is meant by radical transformation, Gigaba has in recent speeches used language that appears aimed to calm nerves, without

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(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, just to come up here and set a motivation for the rest of the season is what I was hoping for," said Simbine. Jamaica's Powell, a former world record holder, finished second in a time...
(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 Belgium could not agree terms with the South African Football Association (SAFA). In a break with an SAFA tradition of making major announcements at media conferences, confirmation that Baxter had been appointed came via an emailed statement. The former midfielder...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
Cape Town City went top of the South African Premiership Friday after completing a double over title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns by winning 1-0 at home. Lebogang Manyama became the co-leading league scorer on 11 goals after hooking the ball over goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands midway through the second half. Cape Town wasted several other great scoring chances while Sundowns had two goals disallowed because of offside and handball. It was the third league loss of the season for African champions Sundowns and...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday that host city Durban may not be able to hold the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to financial pressures. "I don't want to raise your expectations and say everything looks good‚ it doesn't. We are unable to agree on the fundamentals," Mbalula told South African media at a press conference in Cape Town. Despite successfully bidding for the Games, South Africa has been unable to come to agreement with the Commonwealth Games...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
Fikile Mbalula says cost challenges may mean Durban could lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday Durban may lose out on hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to cost challenges. In December South Africa's officials said it remained "fully committed" to hosting the games despite falling short of requirements. Durban was the only city with a confirmed bid after Edmonton in Canada withdrew in February.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
A record-breaking century from Ross Taylor steered New Zealand to a gripping six-run win over South Africa in the second one-day international in Christchurch on Wednesday. Taylor scored an unbeaten 102 as New Zealand batted first and set a target of 290, with South Africa coming close thanks to a late 26-ball half-century from Dwaine Pretorius. The result snaps a 12-match ODI winning streak for South Africa and levels the five-match series in New Zealand at 1-1. Taylor completed his...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
Fallen South African giants Orlando Pirates named Swede Kjell Jonevret as coach Monday in succession to Turk Muhsin Ertugral. The 54-year-old Scandinavian inherits a team lying 10th in the league after suffering a club record 6-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. Pirates only realistic chance of success this season is winning the South African FA Cup, which begins next month. "I have visited South Africa several times and watched local matches," he told reporters after the announcement. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me with one of the biggest names in African club football."
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Belgian Hugo Broos, who guided Cameroon to a shock Africa Cup of Nations title 11 days ago, has applied for the vacant post of South Africa coach. His name was among those released Thursday by the South African Football Association (SAFA) for one of the most sought after football jobs in Africa. Italian Roberto Mancini, manager of Manchester City when they won the English Premier League five seasons ago, is another candidate. Hassan Shehata, coach of Egypt when they won...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Teammates from South Africa's 1995 World Cup winning squad carried the coffin of Joost van der Westhuizen into his memorial service on Friday in front of several hundred mourners. Van der Westhuizen, hailed as one of the greatest rugby players of the modern era, died on Monday aged 45 after a long and public battle with motor neurone disease. Francois Pienaar led the coffin-bearers at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium, where prolonged rounds of applause broke out to honour the celebrated...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen died on Monday aged 45 after a five-year battle with motor neurone disease, his charity foundation said. "It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed," the J9 Foundation said on its Facebook page. The former scrum-half, a Springboks captain who won the 1995 World Cup, was diagnosed with the condition in 2011...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
A Kenyan international footballer is demanding just over 37,000 U.S. dollars in compensation after being forced out of South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Golden Arrows. Winger Cliffton Miheso who also plays for the country's national football team Harambee Stars was forced out of Arrows amid gun drama last month and he has instructed his lawyers based in Nairobi to pursue damages for contract violation. The player fled to the C R Swart Square Police Station in Durban after...

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(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 rand buying airtime space. Aguma urged MPs to support his idea so that those viewing SABC programmes via devices, such as cellphones‚ tablets and laptops, could be brought into the SABC revenue stream. He believed...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(BBC News Africa 09/20/16)
Tributes are pouring in from across South Africa for kwaito musician Mduduzi "Mandoza" Tshabalala who died after a year-long battle with cancer. Mandoza, 38, took to the stage in recent weeks at a concert at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, despite having lost his sight due to illness. His friends and family say he was determined to perform until the end. The musician's hit song Nkalakatha has been praised for unifying black and white South Africans. Nkalakatha, a Zulu word which...

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(The Guardian 05/20/17)
Report questions why taxpayers should finance the project, which would have an export edge over Australia’s coal ports. An Australian government agency is considering a multi-million dollar loan to a South African coal mine that would be in direct competition with the Adani Carmichael coal mine. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is considering the loan to develop the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The Boikarabelo mine has approval to extract 32m tonnes a year of raw coal, making it of similar size to some proposals in Australia’s Galilee Basin. With Efic’s help, the project could lead to the development of one
(Bloomberg 05/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for economic growth in South Africa, saying that the end of the worst drought in more than a century will lift agricultural production while rising commodity prices will boost mining. The Washington-based lender forecast growth of 1 percent for Africa’s most-industrialized economy in 2017, up from the 0.8 percent prediction it made in April. The consumer inflation rate will probably fall below the 6 percent upper limit of the central bank’s target rate in the second half of this year, it said in a statement after a so-called Article IV visit by officials this month. “Following last year’s near-stagnation, there are signs that a modest improvement in the pace of economic growth is...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
After months of attacks by opposition parties, labor unions and the courts, South African President Jacob Zuma now appears to be on a collision course with a more dangerous adversary: his own ruling African National Congress. ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said this week that the party told Zuma’s administration to rescind a decision to reappoint Brian Molefe, who’d been implicated in a graft probe, as the head of the state power utility. Last month three of the party’s top six...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
The newly reinstated head of South Africa’s power utility has been accused of attempting to influence a former minister, reversed plans to close power plants that his predecessor claimed weren’t needed, and set the country’s ruling party against its president. He’s only been back on the job for two days. Brian Molefe, who returned as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s chief executive officer on Monday to staff posters welcoming back ‘Papa Action,’ was moved to tears when he left the role...
(BBC News Africa 05/17/17)
South African police say four people have been arrested in connection with the murder of former actor on popular local TV series Generations. Mandla Hlatshwayo and his friend were shot after confronting a group of men who had robbed women of their mobile phones in a pub in Soweto. The suspects were found in possession of drugs and an unlicensed gun. South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 50,000 cases reported every...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress told President Jacob Zuma’s government that it should rescind a decision to reappoint Brian Molefe as the chief executive officer of the state power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., party Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said. ANC officials told the government of their position at a meeting Monday attended by Zuma, Mantashe said by phone from Johannesburg. The ANC previously condemned the reappointment of Molefe, who resigned as head of Eskom in November after a graft probe questioned his conduct. “They should look into that; ideally they should reverse that decision,” Mantashe said on Tuesday.
(AL Jazeera 05/16/17)
Court hears case for secret ballot in no-confidence motion against Jacob Zuma amid allegations of intimidation of MPs. South Africa's top court is debating whether legislators can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma as hundreds protest in Johannesburg demanding his removal. Zuma, who has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals, has survived similar votes in the parliament the past. Baleka Mbete, parliament speaker and a senior official of Zuma's African National Congress (ANC),...
(BBC News Africa 05/16/17)
South Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, Vodacom, is buying a 35% stake in Kenya's largest mobile firm, Safaricom, for $2.6bn (£2bn). The stake in Safaricom is being sold by Vodafone as part of its drive to streamline its African businesses. The deal will extend the South African firm's influence in Kenya. It will also help increase the use of Safaricom's popular M-Pesa money transfer service across Africa. M-Pesa, launched 10 years ago in Kenya by Safaricom, lets people without bank...
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
Vodafone Group Plc is simplifying its holdings in sub-Saharan Africa, selling a $2.6 billion stake in Kenya’s Safaricom Ltd. to its majority-owned Vodacom Group Ltd. The all-share deal will transfer a 35 percent stake in Safaricom to Vodacom in return for stock in the Johannesburg-based unit, raising the parent’s stake in its South African business to about 70 percent. Bloomberg News reported the deal on Sunday. The transaction gives Vodacom greater access to products such as M-Pesa, Safaricom’s fast-growing mobile-banking...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
South Africa’s ruling party said the state-owned power producer’s decision to reinstate Brian Molefe as chief executive officer is “unfortunate and reckless” because none of the graft accusations against him have been set aside. Molefe, who resigned from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. in November, will return as CEO on Monday, Khulani Qoma, a spokesman for the producer’s board, said by phone on Friday. The Public Protector found in a report last year that Molefe favored the Gupta family, which is...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
South Africa’s four biggest banks, criticized by President Jacob Zuma for doing too little to boost black participation in their companies, haven’t done themselves any favors. In the past decade, three boards have backslid on racial diversity and none of them reflects the country’s demographics. Of South Africa’s population of 56 million people, about 81 percent are black Africans, 8.1 percent are white and the rest are Indian, Asian or from a group referred to locally as coloreds, who were...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Protests in South Africa over a lack of access to housing, water and electricity that erupted in Johannesburg at the start of the week spread to parts of the capital, Pretoria, with police firing rubber bullets at a group who looted shops, barricaded roads and set tires and trash bins alight. Several people who joined the demonstrations in the Laudium township, southwest of Pretoria, were arrested and will face charges of public violence, Isaac Mahamba, a senior superintendent for the...
(Financial Times 05/11/17)
Tourism minister tells South Africa that Marxism has had ‘dire consequences’. A Zimbabwean cabinet minister has warned South Africa against copying Harare’s disastrous land reform agenda. Zimbabwe collapsed into economic chaos after President Robert Mugabe implemented a land reform programme in 2000 that led to the seizure of white-owned commercial farms and the eviction of 5,000 mostly white farmers and 150,000 black farm labourers. This year President Jacob Zuma called for radical land reform in South Africa, abandoning “willing buyer,...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Some of the banks accused of manipulating trades in the rand are objecting to the complaint by South Africa’s Competition Commission, calling it vague and embarrassing, and demanding it be amended or dropped “The commission has failed to plead the material facts necessary to sustain the allegation that there was an agreement, or agreements,” between the lenders of colluding to fix the value of the currency, lawyers for Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a documents published on the...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to become South Africa’s next president has gone into overdrive. After months of playing coy about his aspirations to become the next leader of the ruling African National Congress, the deputy president has started crisscrossing the country speaking out against corruption. He’s picked up endorsements from labor unions, church leaders and some of the ANC’s most respected leaders, including former president Kgalema Motlanthe and ex-finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Ramaphosa’s biggest electoral asset may be his boss, the increasingly unpopular President Jacob Zuma, who’s indicated that he wants to be succeeded by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife and former head of the African Union Commission.
(Financial Times 05/10/17)
South African stocks hit an 11-month high on Tuesday, as markets calm a month after the surprise ousting of the country’s finance minister, but analysts warned that political worries could rear their heads again soon. The FTSE/JSE All-Share index climbed 1 per cent today, hitting a high of 54,255, its highest level since June 2016. Bank stocks, which were particularly badly hit by the sacking of finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy in an extensive cabinet shake-up, have yet...
(Voice of America 05/10/17)
In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma launched the country’s new state-of-the-art Metrorail, dubbed the “People’s Trains.” The event was seen as an opportunity for Zuma to shore up popular support amid mounting political tensions and an upcoming no-confidence vote in parliament. Zuma rolled out the first phase of a $4-billion, 20-year project to modernize public transport. Commuters have in the past resorted to burning trains in anger at the aging current fleet of trains for arriving late and constantly breaking...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(BBC News Africa 05/09/17)
Riots have hit a small town in South Africa after a magistrate granted bail to two white farmers accused of murdering a 16-year-old black boy. Anger erupted in the maize producing town of Coligny, after residents learned that the two suspects had been freed on Monday. Three houses were torched and white-owned shops looted. The violence over the death highlights prevailing racial tensions in parts of post-apartheid South Africa. Apartheid was a legal system of discrimination that existed in South...

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