Wednesday 16 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/15/13)
Anglo American Platinum -- the world's biggest producer of platinum group metals -- said Monday it expects to announce a sharp increase in profits in its half-yearly results next week. Amplats said the six months to the end of June will show that headline earnings rose to between 4.80 rand and 5.35 rand ($0.48 and ($0.54). In the same period last year the firm reported a loss of 1.78 rand ($0.18), prompted by write-downs on unprofitable projects. The company said the weaker rand and higher sales volumes had helped drive profits, despite "the impact of higher costs and lower realised dollar metal prices." Like much of South Africa's mining industry Amplats has struggled amid rising wages and increased extraction costs...
(News24 07/15/13)
Johannesburg - Agang SA on Sunday welcomed the resignation of SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Oupa Magashula following an investigation into allegations of misconduct. "It's sad to see such a promising career go up in smoke," Agang SA said in a statement. "However, Magashule's show of remorse, coupled with an apology and resignation, rather than further dragging Sars's name in the mud, are like a breath of fresh air in public office, where corrupt, unethical officials abuse and violate the public trust with impunity." Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan previously ordered an investigation into allegations that Magashula offered a chartered accountant (CA) a job at Sars. According to reports in March, Magashula allegedly offered a job to a CA, in a...
( 07/15/13)
South Africa's airspace is vulnerable to cross-border smuggling because the country has no airborne radar system, according to defence analyst Helmut Heitman. He says smugglers can evade being caught by ground-sited radar if they fly low enough and know exactly where the radar is. ''With the fixed radar you know where it is and you can work out a route to avoid being picked up on it. Over the years I have seen a couple of reports of aircraft flown undetected out of the country." He cited the case of an aircraft that landed on a farm in Limpopo ''and when the police got there they found it full of cigarettes". Heitman said even airborne radar could not offer complete...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/13)
African leaders called for increased funding Monday to contain HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as a continental health summit opened in Nigeria's capital. Among the 10 heads of state in attendance was Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Nigeria is a member of the ICC and has a legal obligation to arrest Bashir but defended the invitation by saying it did not have the authority to bar him from an African Union summit. UN Population Fund executive director Babatunde Osotimehin pointed to key gains made against the diseases over the last decade. In 2001, "HIV treatment in Africa was almost non-existent. Just 11 years later,...
(Sunday Independent 07/15/13)
Forecasting Election 2014 is already the game in town. Predictions are flowing thick and fast, especially in the fog of new parties popping up and the governing party see-sawing between gaffes and glories. Agang SA and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) bring mutterings of change. The new youth voter cohort imparts uncertainty. Party strategists eye the sizeable chunk of previously inactive voters. The name Nelson Mandela reminds South Africans of the ANC’s work of liberation and the prestigious but perilous walk since 1994. Government institutions groan under the burden of simultaneously playing politics and doing government. Yet, come next year’s election results, this load of volatilities may still equal limited electoral change. Movement away from South Africa’s dominant ANC approximates...
(News24 07/15/13)
Electricity usage is expected to spike on Monday evening because of wintry conditions, Eskom said. The concern is the peak demand between 17:00 and 21:00 when customers return home from work," it said in its bi-weekly status bulletin. "Eskom continues to make progress with its programme of planned maintenance, but the system remains tight." The capacity available to meet Monday evening's peak was 37 000MW, including open cycle gas turbines, while demand was forecast at 35 806MW. Planned maintenance stood at 3000MW and unplanned outages were 3550MW. Peak demand for the weekend and Thursday and Friday was met with available capacity. Peak demand for the rest of this week was forecast at 35 149MW on Tuesday, 35 069MW on Wednesday,...
(Sunday Independent 07/15/13)
This week Nelson Mandela celebrates his 95th birthday. Thebe Ikalafeng reflects on this man's. vision for Africa, and how he created an enabling environment for Thabo Mbeki to express our identity on the continent. Throughout its history, South Africa has had a dichotomous relationship and identity with “Africa”. Apartheid South Africa was the pariah that united Africans against the last white rule – the final frontier in the decolonisation of Africa. Post-apartheid, fellow Africans have flooded the most industrialised and wealthiest sub-Saharan African nation in search of a better life, and an expectation of “payback” for the years of support during the apartheid years. But they have not always been met with an expected embrace, mainly because of the perception...
(Voice of America 07/13/13)
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is calling on African nations to boost their private sectors to advance intra-regional trade. UNCTAD’s new report on the Economic Development in Africa 2013 says reducing trade barriers alone is not enough to turn regional trade into a winning enterprise. In a newly published report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development says African governments must boost private industry and entrepreneurs if they are to compete successfully with foreign firms unencumbered by trade barriers. The report says Africa has a lot to do to catch up with the world's other intra-regional trading blocs. It notes that trade among African nations was low, just 11.3 percent of total trade in...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/13)
Graca Machel, the wife of ailing South African icon Nelson Mandela, said she was less anxious about his condition Friday, five weeks after he was admitted to hospital. "He continues to respond positively to treatment. I would say that today I'm less anxious than I was a week ago," she told state-backed SABC television. It is the latest in a series of upbeat accounts, which seem to suggest that while the 94-year-old's condition remains "critical", it has improved somewhat. After visiting Mandela late Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said he was "responding to treatment." "He remains as much of a fighter now as he was 50 years ago," Zuma said, marking the anniversary of a police raid that led to Mandela's...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/13)
Two of South Africa's leading mining companies on Friday named a hardline union as the largest grouping at some facilities, raising hopes for an end to months of labour unrest. Impala Platinum, the world's second largest platinum producer, and Sibanye Gold granted majority status to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), allowing it to participate in the bargaining processes. Mining companies portrayed Friday's move as a step toward bringing AMCU into the negotiating process and ending a series of wildcat strikes that have crippled the sector. The upstart union has been in a heated battle with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for members and status across the country. That rivalry, and a refusal of mining firms to...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/13)
South Africa's top tax official has resigned following an investigation into allegations of impropriety, South Africa's finance minister announced Friday. South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Oupa Magashula stepped down after he was accused of offering a woman a highly paid job without following proper procedure. Magashula had "by his conduct placed the reputation and credibility of SARS at risk," said minister Pravin Gordhan, who launched an internal investigation in April. Gordhan also said Magashula "was much less frank with the committee than the committee would have expected of a person who had the integrity essential to his position." Magashula, who resigned effective immediately, became implicated in the "jobs-for-pals" scandal after local newspaper City Press reported in March he and...
(Mail & Guardian 07/12/13)
The president believes his Cabinet shuffle will make all the difference ahead of April's election, writes Rapule Tabane. President Jacob Zuma effected a Cabinet reshuffle this week because he was convinced it would prevent a great deal more damage that would otherwise have resulted from the malfunctioning departments of communications and co-operative governance and traditional affairs over the next few months. But the president kept the much-maligned Angie Motshekga as minister of basic education because he believes that she has achieved much more than is acknowledged by her critics. This is according to a senior government official familiar with the president's restructuring exercise, who spoke to the Mail & Guardian but preferred to remain anonymous. On July 9, Zuma announced...
(eNCA 07/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema briefed media on his leadership team at Constitution Hill on Thursday, saying that the EFF movement may contest the 2014 elections. The radical left movement would be "the vanguard of the poor and always be on the side of the poor," Malema said. Malema said the EFF was not like Cope or Agang because their key policies were expropriation of land, nationalisation of mines and banks, and the abolition of tenders. "We have our own way. Nobody else called for that. We haven't decided if we'll start a political party. The people will decide that in Soweto at the National Assembly," he said. "We are founded on a principle of anti-corruption. Anyone...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/13)
South African firebrand Julius Malema launched a "radical left" political movement Thursday that could challenge his former allies in the African National Congress at next year's general elections. Lambasting the ruling ANC in a volley of political invective, Malema issued a populist call for voters to abandon his former comrades and back his "Economic Freedom Fighters". Styled as "Commander in Chief", Malema said the group "should be a radical left, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement... that should be contesting the elections." While not explicitly launching a political party, Malema staked out a claim to lead the millions of black South Africans whose lives have not improved much since the end of white minority rule two decades ago. "Our enemy number one...
(Mining Weekly 07/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Thursday said that mining output during May decreased 0.7%, after a 0.7% revised year-on-year improvement in April. Gold production emerged as the highest contributor, at -2.4 percentage points, to the decline, while manganese ore, contributing 1.5 percentage points, was a significant positive contributor. Investment bank Investec’s Kamilla Kaplan commented: “There was a continuation of the trend in gold production that has been in place for much of the last decade. Specifically, that production remained in contractionary territory”. Gold output, which has been falling since May 2011, plunged 14.6% year-on-year during the month under review, compared with a 3% year-on-year decline reported in April. The gold sector remained a key mineral export,...
(Independent Online 07/12/13)
Pretoria - A staggering 83 percent of South Africans believe the police are corrupt, Transparency International has revealed. In its Global Corruption Barometer 2013, released this week, Transparency International said South Africa was among 36 countries in which the police were seen as the most corrupt institution. “About 83 percent of South Africans believed that police were corrupt. Thirty-six percent admitted to having paid bribes to police,” the report said. DA shadow minister of police Dianne Kohler-Barnard said she was surprised that such a high number of ordinary South Africans believed that the police were corrupt. “However, on reflection, I am not surprised that so many people believe the police are corrupt,” she said on Thursday. She said the murder...
(IT News Africa 07/12/13)
On Tuesday 09 July 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma announced a cabinet reshuffle, resulting in the end of Dina Pule’s tenure as Communications Minister and the appointment of her replacement, Minister Yunus Carrim. On Talk Radio 702 political analysts and media representatives spoke of the heavy responsibilities that awaited newly appointed Communications Minister Carrim – including a beleaguered regulatory body in ICASA, ongoing leadership issues at the state broadcaster, SABC, and the difficulty being experienced with the conversion from analogue to digital broadcasting, amongst others. The internet was abuzz with reaction to the announcement. In a statement posted online, IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) spokesperson on Communications, Liezl van der Merwe MP, said, “The Department of Communications (DoC) is now...
(Voice of America 07/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG — There is a fine chocolatier in the South African city of Johannesburg that carefully giftwraps confections in frothy layers of tissue paper. It’s down the road from the Ferrari dealership and the boys’ school where annual fees start at $7,500 - roughly equal to three years’ tuition at the University of Johannesburg. But drive your Ferrari a few miles north and you’ll find Diepsloot, the notorious, trash-strewn shack settlement known for violent attacks on foreigners, episodes of mob justice and protests by residents demanding running water and electricity. It’s those sharp contradictions that bothered resident Steven Haywood when he heard a radio ad touting the city with the tagline, “Joburg, a World-Class African City.” And this week, South...
( 07/12/13)
South Africa's Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has been appointed the new head of UN Women, the United Nations body tasked with promoting women's rights and their full participation in global affairs. Mlambo-Ngcuka replaces Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, who served as the first executive director of UN Women, or the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. Bachelet stepped down a few months ago. Announcing the appointment on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Mlambo-Ngcuka brought to the position a wealth of experience in advocating for women's issues, combined "with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience". Mlambo-Ngcuka, 57, served as South Africa's first woman deputy president from 2005 to 2008, having served...
(Mail & Guardian 07/12/13)
Hydropower is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, but South Africa is not realising the benefits of using water to generate energy. South Africa has failed to take advantage of the full potential of using water without depleting it. In 2011 Cabinet approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which sets out a diversification of sources of fuel by 2030. It also stipulates that the future power mix will derive 6% from pumped storage for peak supply and 12% from base-load imported hydropower. Arthur Melet, senior research analyst for oil and gas at IDC Energy Insights, Middle East and Africa, says that South Africa's current operational capacity is Gariep (maximum capacity 360MW), Vanderkloof (maximum capacity 240MW), Colley Wobbles (nominal capacity 42MW),...

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