| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(Xinhuanet 04/04/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma has extended the employment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for service in the Mozambique channel on anti-piracy operations, the Presidency said on Monday. This is in fulfillment of the international obligations of South Africa towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime security, the Presidency said. The employment of the 200 SANDF members has been extended for the period April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, said the Presidency. The mission of the SANDF members is to monitor and deter piracy activities along the Southern African Coast of the Indian Ocean. They will continue monitoring and deterring piracy activities along the Southern African Coast of the Indian Ocean, presidential spokesperson...
(Bloomberg 04/04/17)
South Africa’s banks index fell to the lowest in six months after S&P Global Ratings cut the sovereign’s foreign-currency debt rating to junk, increasing the likelihood that lenders will have to battle declining returns and rising bad debts in the year ahead. South Africa’s six-member banks index, which includes Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Barclays Africa Group Ltd., has plummeted more than 9 percent since President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, making it the country’s worst-performing stocks gauge this year. Barclays Africa, still waiting for its London-based parent company to sell down its holdings, has been hit the hardest, sliding 18 percent in 2017. The rand has also weakened against major currencies while yields on benchmark government bonds...
(Bloomberg 04/04/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s shock decision to fire his finance minister and stack his cabinet with loyalists may have seemed like good politics, but it’s led to an immediate downgrade of the nation’s credit rating by S&P Global Ratings that will cost an already moribund economy dearly. The decision by S&P to remove South Africa’s investment-grade rating for the first time in 17 years may be followed by downgrades by Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Ltd. It comes amid a chorus of criticism within Zuma’s African National Congress over his decision to fire Pravin Gordhan. “The cost of the downgrade to all South Africans, the poor in particular, will be felt in higher interest rates, higher inflation, higher...
(APA 04/04/17)
The South African Revenue Service (SARS), for the second year in a row, has broken the trillion-rand mark in its revenue collection, the tax collector has announced. SARS has collected in gross terms R1.367 trillion (about US$98.6 billion) – making the preliminary outcome for the 2016/17 financial year, minus refunds of R222.4 billion, to reach R1.144 trillion, the agency said. "As at midnight of 31st March 2017, SARS had collected R1.144 trillion in line with the revised estimate as announced by the former minister of finance in the February 2017 Budget speech," SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane briefed media on Monday. Also present at the briefing, new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said South Africans should pat themselves on the back as...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
South Africa's opposition parties on Monday vowed to press ahead with a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma following a shock cabinet shake-up in which he fired his respected finance minister. The opposition call came as the ruling ANC's own integrity commission delivered Zuma a stinging rebuke over last week's cabinet reshuffle, saying it was "deeply perturbed" by the lack of consultation, according to local media. The commission will reportedly once again call on the president to step down when he meets the party graft watchdog on April 9. Zuma last week removed Pravin Gordhan
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
Helen Zille wrote that colonialism had given the country ‘independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water’. South Africa’s main opposition party said on Sunday that it has charged a provincial leader with misconduct after she tweeted that colonialism had brought benefits including clean water. Helen Zille, former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the current premier of the Western Cape, could be expelled for the tweet which unleashed fierce criticism from her own party and opponents. She will remain the leader of the Western Cape during the internal party probe. “For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary
(Cnbc Africa 04/03/17)
South Africa's currency saw renewed pressure Monday morning as investors fret over the shock sacking of highly-respected Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, with his replacement beating the drum for a "radical economic transformation" agenda over the weekend. "The issue of radical economic transformation arises from a criticism that for quite a long time the structure of the South African economy has not been changed. We have not paid sufficient attention to the real economy, to industrializing the economy, to ensuring that we create entrepreneurs and industrialists, particularly among black people," the country's new finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, told reporters on Saturday.
(The Associated Press 04/03/17)
South Africa's speaker of parliament said she is considering an emergency motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma after he fired the country's widely respected finance minister last week. Baleka Mbete said Sunday that she cut short an overseas trip to deal with the "serious parliamentary issues" that have arisen since Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet last week. Mbete, speaking to Johannesburg at Johannesburg airport upon her arrival from Bangladesh, said her office received a letter from the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, requesting that the national assembly, which is in recess until May 10, resume earlier to vote on the motion. The request for the motion, which would result in Zuma having to step down if it is...
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
South African parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete said she’s considering a request to recall lawmakers to debate an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, after he made sweeping cabinet changes that top ruling party officials said was done without their consultation. “Given the seriousness inherent in the motions of no confidence and their implication on the nation, I have therefore decided to cut my trip to Bangladesh short to ensure that these requests are given the appropriate consideration,” Mbete told reporters Sunday as she landed at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Parliament is currently on its Easter recess. Zuma and his cabinet would have to resign if a no-confidence motion succeeds, Masibulele Xaso, the National Assembly secretary,...
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
As the rand tumbled and bond yields surged while South Africa’s political drama unfolded, not all investors ran for the exit. Foreigners bought a net 11.2 billion rand ($835 million) of South African bonds in the week ending March 31, more than double the previous week and the most since the five days ending June 24, according to Johannesburg Stock Exchange data. The inflows continued even after President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday. Zuma’s cabinet changes raised concern about the country’s fiscal path and credit ratings, sending the rand sliding to its worst week since December 2015 and benchmark bond yields to the highest since January. That makes them a buy, said Phoenix Kalen, London-based director...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/03/17)
Lagos - Tiger Brands is still interested in investing in Nigeria despite pulling out of a flour milling business it acquired that never turned a profit, says local conglomerate UAC. UAC’s chief executive, Larry Ettah, said on Friday that its partnership with the food company was paying dividends and that in recent conversations the South African firm had said Nigeria remained important as it looked to expand abroad. Tiger bought 49 percent of UAC’s food business in 2010 but since then it has had to sell its 65.7 percent stake in its loss-making Nigerian flour division for $1 to Dangote Industries, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, having bought it for $200 million in 2012. The joint venture company...
(The Globe and Mail 04/03/17)
More than two decades after apartheid ended, South Africa is still consumed by fierce debate over how to eradicate the legacy of white minority rule. But its struggle offers valuable lessons for Canada’s own battle to liberate itself from colonial laws, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says. The minister, who finished a week-long visit to South Africa on the weekend, is leading a working group of federal ministers to decolonize Canada’s laws and policies on Indigenous people. And she says the postapartheid journey in South Africa offers “many important insights” and “parallels” for Canada to study. “For many Indigenous peoples, celebrating our country’s 150th birthday has its challenges,” said Ms. Wilson-Raybould, herself a long-time aboriginal leader in British Columbia. “It is...
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
South Africa’s main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, has started a formal disciplinary process against its former leader, Helen Zille, after she appeared to defend colonialism in a Twitter posting last month. The party’s legal commission has found there is a case for Zille to answer as she has brought the party’s name into disrepute, DA Leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters in Cape Town on Sunday. “This is a very difficult decision taken by the Federal Executive of the party,” he said. Zille later apologized for her comments, but they offended many black South Africans whose ancestors lost their land and civil rights under colonial rule and continue to feel the effects of its legacy. While a failure to discipline Zille...
(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 Tests under Allister Coetzee, a calendar year record for the "green and gold". A 57-15 loss to greatest rivals New Zealand in Durban was the heaviest suffered at home by South Africa. They also lost to Italy, at home to...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
The backlash against South African President Jacob Zuma's shock reshuffle has intensified pressure on him to resign ahead of the 2019 general election. Here are four of his possible successors: - The negotiator - Cyril Ramaphosa, a 64-year-old veteran with strong anti-apartheid struggle credentials, came strongly against the cabinet cull which he described as "totally unacceptable". Ramaphosa, a former trade unionist turned business mogul, was said to be Nelson Mandela favourite as successor in 1999, but the party leadership preferred then-deputy president Thabo Mbeki. Known as an astute negotiator, Ramaphosa was a senior member of the ANC delegation in the historic talks that led to the country's first democratic elections in 1994. He was also involved in the drafting of...
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma's sweeping cabinet overhaul exposes deep divisions between the ANC's apartheid-struggle old guard and a new generation often accused of not living up to expectations. Malusi Gigaba, 45, who replaced Pravin Gordhan, 67, as finance minister is a fervent Zuma loyalist always ready to defend the president despite corruption scandals and mounting legal troubles. Gigaba, who was previously home affairs minister, is accused by the radical opposition EFF party of having "unexplained wealth" and was criticised for mismanagement at state-run South African Airlines during his time as public enterprises minister. Gigabe's new deputy, Sfiso Buthelezi, was linked to financial irregularities at the state rail operator in a report published by the country's graft watchdog in 2015...
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a stinging verbal attack on President Jacob Zuma on Friday, criticising a cabinet purge in which the respected finance minister was sacked. "I am told him that I would not agree with him on his reasoning to remove the minister of finance. And I am told him that this I would articulate publicly," Ramaphosa told reporters. "There are quite a number of other colleagues and comrades who are unhappy about this situation, particularly the removal of the minister of finance who was serving the country with absolute distinction." Gordhan was reportedly sacked because of an alleged intelligence report into meetings he held in London earlier this week. "For him to be removed for...
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
The South African rand plunged more than five percent after President Jacob Zuma on Thursday sacked his finance minister, a man widely seen as a competent manager of one of the world's most important emerging economies. Finance minister Pravin Gordhan was ousted and ten new cabinet appointments made in a dramatic reshuffle that could split the ruling African National Congress, which led the fight against apartheid and came to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994. The late-night move caused the rand to drop as low as 13.5 to the dollar

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