Thursday 22 June 2017
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Myjoyonline 06/06/17)
Trade from Ghana to South Africa is currently pegged at around $7.4 million – a significant drop from three to four years ago when it was quoted in the billions. Both countries are now seeking to close the gap and forge closer trade ties. “We need to go back and understand why suddenly there has been a significant drop,” said the Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Yoofi Grant. Mr Grant was part of a 31-member business delegation from Ghana which embarked on a 7-day trade and investment promotion mission organised by the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber in collaboration with the South Africa High Commission in Ghana. The Mission to selected provinces, including Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Western...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South African information technology firm Datatec Ltd (DTCJ.J) said on Tuesday it will sell its Westcon-Comstor Americas business to Synnex Corp (SNX.N) for up to $800 million, sending its shares up 25 percent. Westcon-Comstor, a distributor of technology and services for network security and data centers mostly in the United States, accounts for more than a third of Datatec's sales and a quarter of profit. "The transaction provides a unique opportunity for Datatec to partner with a leading distribution business in North America and benefit from its significant scale," Datatec said in a statement. U.S.-based Synnex will buy Westcon-Comstar's North American and Latin American businesses for $500 million in Synnex shares, $130 million in cash and a further $200 million...
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
The South African economy has officially entered recession, after a much worse than expected first quarter saw economic output contract by 0.7 per cent, in contrast to expectations of decent growth. The rand weakened immediately after the news, and was off 1.16 per cent against the dollar at publication time. South Africa had already been struggling to address sluggish growth even before recent political upheaval – namely the surprise sacking of its respected finance minister – rocked the country’s financial markets earlier this year. However, economists had expected it to avoid entering recession – officially defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction – with consensus forecasts predicting quarterly expansion of 1 per cent. The country’s mining and quarrying industry enjoyed...
(Voice of America 06/06/17)
South Africa's anti-graft watchdog will investigate the government's providing of protection services to former African Union (AU) Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, its spokesman said on Sunday. Dlamini-Zuma, once married to President Jacob Zuma and seen as a front-runner to succeed him, in March concluded her five-year tenure as AU Commission chairwoman and has made several public appearances in South Africa since. An investigation into Dlamini-Zuma, seen as Zuma's preferred candidate by political analysts, is bad news for the scandal-plagued president who survived a no-confidence vote by his own party's highest body last week. The Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party, in April complained that Dlamini-Zuma is enjoying protection services afforded to visiting heads of state or elected representatives, while...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi said on Tuesday he was dismayed by a media report alleging he improperly benefited from tenders during his time as chairman of the state-owned rail services company. Allegations of government corruption have escalated this week after local media began reporting on more than 100,000 leaked emails they say show inappropriate interference in the issuing of lucrative tenders. "The Deputy Minister would like to once again reiterate and place it on the record that he has never used his position ... to influence procurement decisions in favor of any company associated with him or his family," Buthelezi's office said in a statement. (Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)
(The Associated Press 06/06/17)
In 2016, 33 lions freed from circuses in Peru and Colombia were transported to South Africa to live out their days in a wildlife refuge. Last week, poachers broke into the sanctuary, killing two of the big cats. The killing of the male lions named José and Liso occurred at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, which had portrayed the lion airlift as a compassionate gesture that alleviated the suffering of animals held in cages and subjected to beatings and other mistreatment. The incursion highlighted how brazen poachers can infiltrate places like Emoya, which said it has 24-hour security and armed patrols and has taken additional measures to protect its property in Vaalwater, in northern South Africa. Forensic experts have visited...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas each captured their 200 metre races on the second day of a track and field event in Boston on Sunday. The 24-year-old Van Niekerk, who is the reigning World and Olympic champion in the 400m, clocked a winning time of 19.84 on a temporary built track to beat runnerup BeeJay Lee (20.17) at the Boston Boost Games. Because the competition was run on a straight line instead of the traditional curved track and field surface the time will not be listed in 2017 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) records. "I still have a lot of work ahead of me," said Van Niekerk, of Cape Town, who will run...
(AFP (eng) 06/03/17)
South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, on Saturday suspended former leader Helen Zille over Twitter messages in which she said colonialism had brought benefits to the country. The DA, which won 22 percent of the vote in the last general election, hopes to make major gains in the 2019 election but it has struggled to shed its image as a "white" party. Zille, who is the current premier of Western Cape province, unleashed fierce criticism from her own party and opponents. South Africa remains deeply divided more than 20 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, as stark racial inequality leaves millions of black people with poor housing, education and job opportunities. Mmusi Maimane, the DA's first...
(Voice of America 06/03/17)
South Africa’s ruling ANC party has called for an investigation into potentially explosive graft allegations against President Jacob Zuma and government officials. Two media outlets say they have obtained tens of thousands of emails and documents showing undue influence by the wealthy Gupta family. President Jacob Zuma finds himself embroiled in yet another corruption scandal. On Thursday, two South African media outlets, the Daily Maverick and Amabhungane, published reports saying they have unearthed over 100,000 emails and documents purporting to show how the rich Gupta family unduly influenced the president
(AFP (eng) 06/02/17)
South Africa's ruling ANC party on Friday asked the government to explain leaked emails detailing alleged bribes and corruption, as President Jacob Zuma faced a fresh wave of scandal. Thousands of emails have emerged in the local press exposing alleged misconduct over lucrative government contracts awarded to the Guptas, an influential Indian business family. Zuma has been under growing pressure to resign from senior ANC figures, trade unions and business leaders, as well as from tens of thousands of marchers at a series of street demonstrations. "These reports contain very worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests," the ANC said in a statement.
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Eye Witness News 06/02/17)
Fitch says it is unlikely that government will raise its expenditure ceilings, which has served as anchor for fiscal policy. Ratings agency Fitch has affirmed South Africa’s rating at 'BB+' with a stable outlook. It says South Africa's ratings are weighed down by low trend in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and deteriorating governance. The agency and S&P global downgraded the country to junk status earlier this year. Fitch has cited in-fighting within the ANC, saying it "remains particularly strong" ahead of the electoral conference in December. Fitch says it is unlikely that government will raise its expenditure ceilings, which have served as anchor for fiscal policy. The agency says South African GDP growth remains a key rating weakness, with...
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
South Africa avoided a second downgrade in two months from Fitch Ratings Ltd. as the company left its assessment of the nation’s debt at the highest non-investment grade. The local- and foreign-currency ratings were affirmed at BB+, Fitch said in an emailed statement Thursday. The outlook on both assessments was kept at stable. Fitch and S&P Global Ratings cut their assessments of South Africa’s foreign-currency debt to the highest junk level in early April after a late-night cabinet reshuffle in which President Jacob Zuma replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister with Malusi Gigaba, a former home affairs minister. The rand lost as much as 11 percent against the dollar after the president called Gordhan back from meetings with investors in...
(News24 06/02/17)
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar, who has been in South Africa since last year, has told the United Nations that the country's government has been "hospitable", but he wishes to be released "from confinement and detention". "My host here South Africa has been hospitable," Machar said in a statement released on Wednesday after a teleconference with the UN security council. According to reports the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), arrived in South Africa late last year without the government's knowledge - after fleeing the capital Juba, claiming that President Salva Kiir wanted to assassinate him. Reports said at the time that he was "basically under house arrest" near Pretoria, with his movements "restricted and phone calls...
(Independent Online 06/02/17)
Youngsters are often encouraged to aim high when considering a career. Sadly, many will feel their options are limited and may believe they have no option but to settle for less than the job they dream of. Fortunately, there are options available: opportunities that can provide a springboard to something truly challenging and fulfilling. One example is Boeing’s [NYSE: BA] highly acclaimed six months International Business Internship Program (IBIP), which is now open to South African students in a business-related field. Full-time under-graduate and post-graduate students from South African universities and technical universities are encouraged to apply for the internship. Two students from Wits University are currently on the full-time program (Jan – July 2017). Registration for the next intake...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/02/17)
Fresh off a record-breaking performance in the 400 meters at the Rio Olympics, South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk finds himself among a crowd of athletes jostling for the mantle of the retiring Usain Bolt, who has long outshone all his rivals. The 24-year-old smashed American Michael Johnson's 17-year-old record in the 400 at the Rio Games with a time of 43.03 seconds, and is the only man to break 44 seconds in the 400m, 20 seconds in the 200m and 10 seconds in the 100m. But even those performances pale beside the achievements of the Jamaican great, whose reign at the top will end when he retires after the world championships in London in August. Bolt wrapped up his...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
As Cape Town suffers its worst drought in a century, residents have been told to restrict showers to two minutes and flush toilets only when "absolutely necessary". The city -- South Africa's biggest tourist hotspot -- and the surrounding Western Cape province have been declared a disaster area by the local government, with just 10 percent of usable water left in the dams supplying the area. Two hours from the city, Theewaterskloof Dam, the main source of water for Cape Town, has been reduced to a flat and sandy desert, with the petrified remains of orchards flooded when the dam was built in the 1970s standing starkly under the sun. At the local watersports club, exposed moorings reveal where sailboats...

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