| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AL Jazeera 04/20/17)
The ANC has lost the moral high ground that it used to have after the fall of the apartheid regime. The African National Congress of today is a political organisation as well as the leading force in government. The organisation, the government and the state as a whole are in the midst of multiple crises covering broad areas of economic, social and political life. Gone are the days when the ANC represented hope for a better life, cherished by many, many people. It is no longer trusted as the bearer of aspirations for freedom, dignity and a government that benefits all. It has squandered the reputation it so painstakingly built during the freedom struggle. This is manifested in electoral defeat...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
South Africa’s inflation rate fell to a six-month low in March after food-price increases slowed. Consumer inflation eased to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in February, Statistics South Africa said in a report released Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 6.3 percent. Prices climbed 0.6 percent in the month. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged since last March after raising it by 200 basis points to 7 percent over two years to bring price growth back to within its target band of 3 percent to 6 percent.
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The World Bank cut its growth projection for sub-Saharan Africa this year because of weak expansion in the region’s three biggest economies. The area’s gross domestic product will expand 2.6 percent in 2017, the bank said in an emailed copy of its Africa Pulse report Wednesday. That compares with a January projection of 2.9 percent and matches the International Monetary Fund’s prediction released this week. “The region’s three largest economies -- Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa -- are projected to post only a modest rebound in growth following a sharp slowdown in 2016,” it said. “Investment growth will recover only gradually amid tight foreign-exchange liquidity conditions in major oil exporters and low investor confidence in South Africa.” The economy of...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
A court in South Africa Wednesday dropped the case against two students who freed a penguin from a marine park and released it into the sea as protest against animal captivity. Adrian Donian, 22, and Emile du Plessis, 24, were arrested in September 2016, after they broke into Bayworld oceanarium in Port Elizabeth and snatched "Buddy", an endangered African black-footed penguin. The magistrate said he had dropped the case because the prosecuting authority had taken too long to decide whether to prosecute the two or not. Their lawyer, Craig de Lange, had argued that the two be placed in a "rehabilitation programme because they are students and not hardcore criminals". The animal was wrapped in a shirt and bundled in...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/17)
South Africa's new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ruled out a radical policy change on Wednesday, saying the economic blueprints of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) did not entail wholesale nationalisation of mines and banks. Gigaba also told a televised media briefing in Pretoria that he would be meeting with Moody's to give the ratings agency policy assurances after Fitch and S&P Global Ratings both downgraded South Africa to junk in the wake of the sacking of Gigaba's respected predecessor Pravin Gordhan. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Just as things were starting to look up for South African banks with economic growth and lending poised to rebound, President Jacob Zuma struck. The fallout from a midnight cabinet purge by Zuma on March 31 threatens to stall debt sales by financial-services companies, which had risen to a record on a quarterly basis in the first three months of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “In this time of uncertainty, growth is going to be constrained and bank issuance will probably be lower than in previous years,” said Rashaad Tayob, who oversees about 13.5 billion rand ($990 million) as a portfolio manager at Abax Investments Ltd. in Cape Town. “If they don’t see credit growth then they...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that leaders should listen to protesters who have taken to the streets demanding that President Jacob Zuma resign or be removed after a cabinet reshuffle triggered damaging credit downgrades. Zuma is to step down as head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in December but his second term as president only expires after a general election in 2019. Ramaphosa and Zuma's ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the leading candidates vying to replace him. Zuma is widely believed to support his ex-wife's candidacy, while Ramaphosa, a wealthy businessman and former trade unionist, has the backing of the ANC's labor allies. "People of our country are taking to the streets. They're raising their concerns,...
(Times Live 04/18/17)
Imagine how lucrative and efficient your stokvel could be if more people on your street could participate - empowering you to go online to do business‚ invest and borrow money through crowdfunding. In an alternative funding benchmarking report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance‚ published last month‚ South Africa was identified as the potential leader in the growth of online and peer-to-peer lending models in Africa. Peer-to-peer lending is the practice of lending money‚ at a profit margin‚ through online services that match borrowers and lenders. In 2015 South Africa represented 18% of the total African online alternative finance market‚ raising over $15-million. Kenya was the only African country ahead of it with $16.7-million raised. Unlike its neighbouring African...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/18/17)
South African miner Sibanye Gold (SGLJ.J) plans to tap shareholders for about $1 billion to partly fund a takeover of U.S.-based Stillwater Mining Co (SWC.N), it said on Tuesday, a day after the deal secured a U.S. regulatory approval. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which examines deals for potential national security concerns, has cleared Sibanye's $2.2 billion takeover of the country's sole platinum and palladium miner. The deal will increase South Africa's grip over global platinum and palladium supply and underline Sibanye Chief Executive Neal Froneman's determination to branch out of gold mining and South Africa. "Sibanye management and board has determined that a US$1 billion equity capital raise, through the rights offer, is optimal given...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
An adviser to South Africa’s new finance minister advocated the state takeover of banks, mines and insurance companies in a newspaper editorial, two weeks after President Jacob Zuma’s ouster of Pravin Gordhan shocked investors and led to a debt downgrade. In an opinion piece titled “Our chance to complete the revolution,” published in South Africa’s Sunday Times, Christopher Malikane, an economics professor at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, also proposed the establishment of a state bank that would combine all government-owned financial institutions, the nationalization of the South African Reserve Bank and the expropriation of land without compensation to the owners. The Sunday Times said Malikane, who has advised the Congress of South African Trade Unions, is an adviser to...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Sibanye Gold Ltd. plans to raise $1 billion from shareholders and a further $1 billion in debt, most likely bonds, to pay for the acquisition of Colorado-based Stillwater Mining Co. The funds will be raised by the middle of this year and will help repay a $2.65 billion bridge loan from a group of banks, Westonaria, South Africa-based Sibanye said in a statement Tuesday. The remainder of the loan will be repaid through a combination of sources such as commodity-streaming deals, the company said. When Sibanye announced the $2.2 billion purchase in December, it said it planned to raise $750 million to $1 billion from shareholders before saying in February it may increase this amount to $1.3 billion. The company...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AfricaNews 04/14/17)
South Africa, a multi-faceted country, long heralded as the gateway to Africa. With a population of over 55 million people, the country is Africa’s most developed economy. Sound policies over the years have positioned South Africa as a key player in the global economic landscape making it the only African country in the G20 group of nations. But, recent headwinds in the world economy have slowed growth in the country prompting, South Africa’s government to tap into new frontiers for growth. Dube trade port is an economic development project of government but in essence what we are is a special economic zone and we have a very strong focus in manufacturing and logistics for both the South African but also...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
South Africa's police minister promised on Thursday to find a new head for the force's "Hawks" investigative team and address its reputation as "a unit with low morals", seeking to draw a line under months of legal and political wrangling. Fikile Mbalula named a new interim chief and said a full-time replacement would be found by the end of the year, a day after calling off his ministry's legal fight to keep the Hawks' last leader in office. The tussle over the Hawks' leadership has become an emblematic case in what activists say is a broader fight against widespread mismanagement. The government has defended the Hawks, saying it is a vital force in tackling corruption. Two pro-democracy groups launched a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Rival South African opposition parties joined forces on Wednesday when tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital Pretoria calling for President Jacob Zuma to resign. The march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised on Zuma's 75th birthday and came after nationwide rallies against the president last week. Zuma's recent sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan has fanned years of public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth. Supporters of the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), and smaller parties mingled
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
More than 30,000 people marched in South Africa's capital Pretoria on Wednesday calling on President Jacob Zuma to quit, keeping up pressure from the streets on the leader over his handling of the struggling economy. The protesters marched through the city and held a rally at a field outside the Union Buildings, the site of Zuma's offices. Zuma, who turned 75 on Wednesday, has survived previous protests. But the main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) and other parties behind the protest believe they can drum up support to force Zuma out of office following his dismissal of respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle. South Africa's economy has grown lethargically over the last six years and the jobless...
(Xinhuanet 04/13/17)
The South African government will do what it can to avoid a further downgrade, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday. Urgent steps must be taken to prevent international rating agency Moody's from downgrading South Africa's credit rating, Gigaba said in Cape Town after a meeting with local investors. Gigaba assured investors of policy certainty in different policy programs, including the mining and telecommunications sectors. He pledged that the government would take immediate action to improve the financial performance and governance of state-owned companies. Gigaba said he is planning to meet with the Moody's to ensure the agency that South Africa is willing to continue on the course of fiscal discipline and reducing the country's debt. "We will do all...

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