Wednesday 26 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/18/17)
South African hopes of dodging the Men's Hockey World League axe were shattered Monday when humiliated 9-1 by merciless Belgium in the final mini-league match in Johannesburg. The host nation needed a victory to pip Egypt on goal difference for fourth place in Pool B and secure a quarter-final against arch sporting rivals Australia. It was a tall order given fifth-ranked Belgium are 10 places higher in the world and recently won all three internationals against the South Africa in Cape Town. But South African supporters hoped...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
The Nelson Mandela International Day must be used to unify South Africans and everyone who lives in South Africa, several South Africans and immigrants in Johannesburg said on Tuesday. The day is an opportunity to deal with issues of inequity and xenophobia which are derailing social cohesion and economic development of South Africa, they said. "This is an important day for South Africans, it's a crucial day to Africa as a continent too. The day brings pride to Africa," said Johannes Mutero, a Zimbabwean who was among a group of South Africans and immigrants who went about donating food parcels to the needy in South Africa's Rosettenville suburbs. The annually celebrated Mandela Day kicked off across South Africa on Tuesday...
(Business Day 07/18/17)
Moody’s said on Tuesday that it had assigned a first-time rating to Barclays Africa Group’s long-term and short-term foreign currency debt at one notch below investment grade, or Ba1. This is in line with the South African sovereign credit rating, as banks cannot be rated above the sovereign. Barclays Africa’s local currency rating remained investment grade at Aa3, Moody’s said in a statement on Tuesday. Barclays Africa can no longer use the credit rating of its former parent, Barclays Plc, after the British bank completed a sell-down of its stake in the African banking group in June to just below 15%. This means it is no longer a shareholder of reference and so would not be on the hook if...
(Business Day 07/18/17)
Step aside, the fired finance minister tells the president, so that we can fulfil Mandela’s aspirations for SA. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday publicly called on President Jacob Zuma to step down. "I’ve said it in ANC fora. I think the president should move aside and let somebody take over this country and reset the course‚ so that we can fulfil the kind of aspirations that Mandela and his generation had for SA‚" Gordhan said during a panel discussion broadcast on news channel eNCA. The panel was part of a dialogue titled The Negotiated Settlement‚ hosted by 702 radio presenter Eusebius McKaiser. Roelf Meyer‚ a key member of the pre-1994 negotiations‚ was also present‚ along with journalist Ranjeni...
(Financial Times 07/18/17)
Commodity trader Vitol Group has shelved plans to buy a stake in South Africa’s biggest coal terminal from the country’s controversial Gupta family Vitol and Burgh Group, a local coal producer, had announced plans to buy the Gupta family’s 7.6 per cent stake in the Richards Bay Coal Terminal in September 2016. The deal would have given Vitol and Burgh the right to ship 8m tonnes of the fuel from South Africa each year. Thermal coal is burnt in power stations to generate electricity. But it was dogged by problems. The terminal was part of a wider coal business called Optimum previously owned by Glencore, the Swiss miner and commodity trader. Glencore placed Optimum in business rescue proceedings in 2015...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
South African Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi on Tuesday made an urgent appeal to meter-taxi drivers and those operating cars by using Uber technologies, urging them to end the spate of violent attacks on each other. "This kind of behaviour which breeds intimidation and anarchy stands condemned and should not be allowed in our public transport system and our country in general," said Maswanganyi. This came following the recent spiralling attacks and counter attacks involving meter-taxi and Uber drivers in parts of the country. Several people have been killed in violence related to the rivalry between meter-taxi and Uber drivers. Last weekend, an Uber driver died of injuries he sustained in an attack on June 10 by an unidentified group of...
(Business Day 07/18/17)
Emerging-market currencies were mostly flat against the dollar on Tuesday, just before midday, in cautious trade. The rand followed movements of its emerging-market peers on fears that US President Donald Trump’s stimulus policies would not materialise. The dollar is currently under pressure after two more Republican senators voted against the healthcare bill. Rand Merchant Bank analyst Isaah Mhlanga said "Trump’s policies are proving difficult to pass through senate, which has sent the US dollar to its weakest level since September last year". TreasuryOne dealer Andre Botha said "this failure means many of Trump’s pro-corporate policies will fall through the cracks. This will signal the end of the optimism that surrounded Trump trade, and the dollar could slide a little lower"...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
A South African Uber driver whose car was torched five weeks ago died of his injuries on Monday, the company said, after an attack allegedly involving rival metre-taxi drivers. The man was parked on a street in the capital Pretoria at night when his vehicle was set alight and he suffered severe burns, Uber Africa said in a statement. The company said the attackers were unknown, but it pointed to the metre-taxi business that has suffered due to competition from the ride-hailing app. "We know that these actions do not represent the entire industry, however, this violence and intimidation against those who choose to use technology apps, like Uber, must stop," Uber said. Police declined to comment, while an action...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
An ambulance carrying South Africa's first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela caught fire as it was rushing him to hospital, his doctor revealed in a book published on Monday. The incident is one of several bizarre episodes contained in the book chronicling Mandela's final years by Vejay Ramlakan, who was South Africa's surgeon general and the former president's physician until his death in 2013. Ramlakan was accompanying Mandela from his Johannesburg home to a specialist heart hospital in Pretoria in June 2013 when smoke began billowing from the ambulance carrying the former liberation leader. "A pall of black smoke enveloped the ambulance as it slowed to a halt in the fast lane of the freeway," Ramlakan wrote. "I lifted my...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
South Africa's communist party has said it could contest elections on its own rather than as part of the alliance led by the ruling African National Congress, local media reported Sunday. SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande announced the proposals during his closing speech to the SACP party congress in Boksburg near Johannesburg on Saturday. Analysts say that the move, which would hurt the ANC's electoral chances, could be a bid by the SACP to influence the party's leadership contest later this year. The SACP currently fields candidates under the ANC's electoral banner as part of South Africa's "tripartite alliance", which comprises the two parties and the COSATU trade union federation. Nzimande said the party had not yet decided which elections...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
South Africa's human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu accepted the nomination of some African National Congress (ANC) branches to lead the ruling party, she told local media. Sisulu, a veteran cabinet minister and a member of a family that along with the Mandelas were among the most prominent in the struggle against apartheid, joins a crowded race to succeed scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader in December. At least six branches of the ANC have nominated Sisulu as leader and she has publicly accepted, the state broadcaster SABC reported. "I have agreed," Sisulu told the eNCA news channel in an interview on Sunday, adding that she had a daunting task ahead to return the "dignity" of the ruling party and...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
South Africa’s central bank will persist in seeking a court order to set aside an instruction from the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman that its mandate must be changed, even after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she won’t oppose the regulator’s application. In a report last month, Mkhwebane instructed the legislature to start a process to amend the nation’s constitution to make the Reserve Bank focus on the “socioeconomic well-being of the citizens” rather than inflation. Her comments caused the rand to slide as the change was seen by investors as a threat to the lender’s independence. The bank then started a court application to review and set aside her instruction, with Mkhwebane on July 11 saying she won’t oppose it. “It...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
South African Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has suspended the controversial new Mining Charter pending judgment on a case brought by the industry seeking to halt the rules, according to the Chamber of Mines, which represents producers. In return, the chamber has agreed to the department of mineral resources’ request for more time to prepare its response in the case, the group said in an emailed statement Friday. The Mining Charter, which Zwane published June 15, would require mining assets in South Africa to be 30 percent black-owned, up from 26 percent currently, and previous deals from which black investors have since sold out are not given full credit, raising concerns about dilution for existing investors. “It’s a mild positive as...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
Mazda Motor Corp. is recalling 19,000 cars in South Africa due to airbag safety concerns as the Japanese carmaker extends a global recall to cover a wider manufacturing period, its local unit said on Monday. The recall was prompted by investigations in Japan and North America for three different types of Takata Corp manufactured airbags over safety concerns that inflators were defective. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in July that new testing was prompting Takata Corp to declare 2.7 million air bag inflators defective in Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co and Mazda vehicles. Takata air bag inflators have been linked to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, and the recalls will eventually cover about 125 million inflators.
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The South African Communist Party said it will contest future elections independent of its ally, the ruling African National Congress. The party wants President Jacob Zuma to step down following a series of graft scandals in which he has been implicated since taking office in 2009. The SACP, which has a political alliance with the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, reaffirmed its decision to contest state power. “After considerable debate at Congress, we have resolved that while the SACP will certainly contest elections, the exact modality in which we do so needs to be determined by way of a concrete analysis,” the party said in an emailed statement after its national meeting. SACP said that it...
(APA 07/17/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s newly released a 14-point action plan for the economy has firm timelines, including developing a framework for greater private sector participation in projects run by the government and its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), APA has learnt on Monday. The plan spelled out National Treasury's intention to reduce the issuance of government guarantees, the minister said, especially for operational reasons -- and would looking into providing the troubled utility Eskom with "soft support" until the National Energy Regulator of South Africa decides on its 2018 tariff adjustment. According to Gigaba, many of the items outlined in the plan were already on the government's agenda. Despite this, the ambitious 14-point plan appeared to have been well received...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Meter-taxi drivers in South Africa are attacking those that operate cars and use Uber Technologies Inc., and the ride-hailing service has called for a meeting with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to help stop the violence. Uber has hired private security to protect drivers and customers at violent hot spots such as the Gautrain station in Sandton in northern Johannesburg, Jonathan Ayache, the service’s general manager in the country, said on Johannesburg-based broadcaster Talk Radio 702 Monday. “The intimidation and violence need to stop,” he said. Drivers can now determine where the hot spots are through the Uber application, he said. This weekend, an Uber driver died after a June 10 attack by an unidentified group of people in which his...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
The South African government on Monday denied reports that it has approved international trade in rhino horns. "The commercial international trade in rhino horn is and remains prohibited in terms of all international protocols that South Africa is party to, particularly the Convention on International Trade in Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)," the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said. This came after a South African private game rancher used social websites to advertise an online auction of rhino horns, sparking concern that this could undermine the 40-year-old international ban on rhino horn trading. The DEA would like to emphasize that international trade in rhino horns would be illegal in terms of domestic regulations and South Africa's international obligations, said...
(APA 07/17/17)
Mozambique’s Office of Prevention and Combat Against Drugs (GPCD) has said the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the city of Maputo last year left a total of 2,014 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with mental disorders, APA learnt on Sunday, GPCD director Sara Jafete is quoted by state-controlled weekly Sunday paper Domingo as saying that the group affected includes students, mainly from secondary school. “Students mix alcohol with soft drinks and it becomes difficult for teachers to notice that their students are consuming alcohol and these are the cases we have seen in hospital units in Maputo,” said Jafete. The office has held lectures and campaigns in several schools in Maputo to combat the trend, and...

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