| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(Financial Times 02/27/17)
The countries have a common interest in putting a lid firmly on xenophobia. Sub-Saharan Africa’s voice on the global stage has been at its strongest over the past two decades when its two most powerful players have worked in concert. However, nearly ten years of deteriorating relations have seen the foundations for collective action — laid by Thabo Mbeki, the prickly intellectual who succeeded Nelson Mandela as South African head of state, and Olusegun Obasanjo, the gruff former military ruler elected as Nigeria’s civilian leader in 1999 — all but destroyed. The men had a shared history dating back to the late 1970s when Nigeria was among the most generous and outspoken of African states supporting African National Congress exiles...
(Financial Times 02/27/17)
Companies fear government proposal would be financially unsustainable. Corporate speeches usually avoid talk of a “difficult and dark” past. But this month Mark Cutifani, head of Anglo American, defended the South African mining industry’s record on opening up ownership to the country’s black majority. With the government planning to shore up black participation in mining, the next few months are the most critical in the sector’s 150-year history, Mr Cutifani said. Many “still don’t understand” that the modern owners of South African mines are no longer the “Randlords”, he said, referring to the white industrialists who exploited black labour to establish the country as one of the world’s leading miners. His speech was widely seen as a warning to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Online sales website Gumtree said Monday that it had banned advertisements offering donkeys in South Africa to prevent inhumane killings of the animals to meet Chinese demand for their skins. Donkeys are being increasingly slaughtered in South Africa to supply smugglers who export the skins to China, where they are believed to have medicinal properties. "Gumtree has decided to ban the sale of all donkeys and mules on the site, not just the hides and byproducts," the company said. "We hope that this will play a small part in reducing animal cruelty." Gelatin-rich donkey skin is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat ailments such as insomnia, and is also an ingredient in a treatment said to delay menopause in...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
South Africa's Hawks elite police unit said on Monday it is not investigating Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas, but only making enquiries at this stage over claims that he was part of a probe into allegations of corruption at state-owned South African Airways (SAA). City Press newspaper reported on Sunday the Hawks is investigating allegations that Jonas used his political influence to secure U.S. aircraft company AAR Corp contracts to supply components and tyres to the state airline. "For now that investigation is still at an enquiry level and once we pick up anything then a case docket will then be opened. There is not even a case docket," Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told Reuters. "We don't want to even suggest...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
About 100 people ransacked shops in Johannesburg overnight, police said on Monday, in the latest of a wave of looting incidents in South African cities. Doors and windows were smashed in, and food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants in Jeppestown, an area in the central business district, a Reuters witness said. "We've been stuck inside here until the police came," Abdul Ebrahim, a Somali shop owner, said after emerging from his store, where a number of his colleagues had barricaded themselves. "No one told us what they were looking for," he added when asked why the mob had attacked his shop. At least one person was arrested. "We are following...
(News24 02/27/17)
Thirty tons of school books collected in Bedfordview and meant for distribution to schools in Zimbabwe are stuck at Beitbridge Border Post because the state revenue authority is demanding tax, reports say. The official Herald newspaper says the books were destined for 11 schools in Bulawayo, near where President Robert Mugabe will hold his birthday party on Saturday. The book shipment was organised by Chitungwiza Rotary Club, which says it's been doing this without problems since 2011. Past president of the group Denny Makoni said the books had been held up at the border for the past two weeks after the state ZIMRA revenue authority "made new documentation requirements" and demanded the payment of duty, the Herald reported. Zimbabwe began...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/26/17)
South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas is being investigated by the Hawks elite police unit as part of a probe into allegations of corruption at state-owned South African Airways (SAA), the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday. As part of the probe into SAA, the unit is investigating allegations that Jonas used his political influence to secure U.S. aircraft company AAR Corp contracts to supply components and tyres to the state airline, the newspaper cited three unidentified Hawks sources and one SAA source as saying. Treasury spokeswoman Yolisa Tyantsi declined to comment. Spokespeople for Jonas and the SAA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/25/17)
South African police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse rival marches by hundreds of protesters in Pretoria on Friday, after mobs looted stores this week believed to belong to immigrants. Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from citizens and involvement in crime. Armed police had formed a barrier between rival crowds of citizens and non-nationals marching in Pretoria, but both sides began shouting at one another and brandishing rocks and sticks, prompting police to disperse the angry mobs. Shops were shuttered in Marabastad, an area of western Pretoria where many foreign nationals
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up clashes between local protesters and migrants in Pretoria on Friday at a march against immigration. Shops and homes owned by foreigners have been looted and torched in recent weeks, with some South Africans alleging that the properties were brothels and drug dens. Attacks against foreigners have erupted regularly in recent years, fuelled by South Africa's high unemployment and poverty levels. Police in Pretoria formed lines to keep apart 500 protesters as tensions rise between some South Africans and migrants from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere. "We are fed up with people bringing drugs to the youth and the crimes that go with it," said a South African...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
At least 300 people gathered for an anti-immigration march in the South African capital Pretoria on Friday, as President Jacob Zuma condemned xenophobic violence that has targeted shops and homes. Tyres were burnt in streets near Pretoria in the morning, as tensions rise between some South Africans and migrants from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere. Shops and homes owned by foreigners have been looted and torched in recent weeks, with some locals alleging that the properties were brothels and drug dens. Zuma called for restraint, saying in a statement that there had been "threats of violence and acts of intimidation and destruction of property directed at non-nationals." "Residents in some communities blame non-nationals for the escalating crimes especially drug...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/24/17)
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has condemned acts of violence between citizens and non-nationals, his office said on Friday. Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from citizens and getting involved in crime. Citizens in Pretoria are set to march against foreigners on Friday and domestic media are reporting vandalism and acts of violence in the Atteridgeville area west of the capital. At least 20 stores in Pretoria owned by foreigners were looted on Tuesday, but police could not confirm that the attacks had deliberately targeted foreigners.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/24/17)
South African drinks company Distell, which makes Savanna cider and cream liqueur Amarula, has started producing canned drinks in Angola, the company's chief executive said on Thursday. Angola is Distell's largest export market in Africa but sales have fallen sharply there as a decline in oil revenues and lower economic growth have limited the availability of foreign exchange and hit Angolan consumers. "We've just started up local production of cans in Angola and that investment will be followed up by bottle production before the calendar year is out," Chief Executive Richard Rushton told Reuters in an interview. Distell spent about $20 million to build the plant, which will produce about 10 million litres a year initially. The company plans to...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
The South African government on Thursday called for calm after a wave of xenophobic violence in which dozens of shops and houses owned by immigrants have been torched and looted. Attacks against foreigners and foreign-run businesses have erupted regularly in recent years in South Africa, fuelled by the country's high unemployment levels and dire poverty. In the last week, more than 20 shops have been targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, while residents in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, attacked at least 12 houses. Many locals have alleged that their targets were brothels and drug dens being run by migrants from elsewhere in Africa, including Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
(Bloomberg 02/23/17)
South Africa must stick to its budgetary promises and be consistent with policies to maintain its investment-grade credit rating, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said. “We have kept to our fiscal commitment -- we said we would continue with fiscal consolidation in a careful and balanced way, we said that we would taper off debt, we have kept to that to a large extent,” Gordhan said in an interview in Cape Town Wednesday. There is “no evidence” that political developments within the ruling African National Congress will change policy, he said. Slow economic growth and political infighting are key factors rating companies have highlighted as risks to their assessments. Gordhan has had to balance efforts to boost the economy against the...
(BBC News Africa 02/23/17)
South Africa finance minister Pravin Gordhan has announced a new top tax bracket of 45% in his 2017 budget. The new tax bracket, the previous one was 41%, applies to annual incomes of more than 1.5m rand ($114,000, £91,000) and will hit around 100,000 people. Mr Gordhan is battling weak tax receipts which, during the current financial year have been 30bn rand ($2.3bn, £1.8bn) less than expected. He added that government debt had risen to 2.2 trillion rand ($168bn, £135bn). The shortfall in tax revenue was the largest since 2009-10, with the biggest gap coming in personal income tax, which brought in 15.2 billion rand ($1.1bn, £929m) less than expected. The problem was flagged in a mini-budget in October but...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/23/17)
Nigeria's foreign minister on Wednesday condemned recent attacks on Nigerians in South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria. Homes and shops of Nigerians have been targeted and looted in Pretoria West in recent days. Buildings with Nigerian businesses have been burned in Johannesburg's Rosettenville suburbs in the past few weeks. Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said his ministry had summoned the South African ambassador to discuss the matter. The incident is the latest development in the rivalry between the countries with Africa's two largest economies. Relations have been strained by accusations of South African xenophobia, with Nigerians alleging that Pretoria subjects them to harsh visa restrictions. In the streets of Abuja, Nigerians expressed their anger over the attacks. "They have their citizens...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/23/17)
South African lender Barclays Africa asked for forgiveness on Thursday for its role in rigging the local currency, a scandal that has raised questions over the dominance of four big local banks. "We deeply regret that this conduct took place within our organization," Chief Executive Maria Ramos said. "Those who are found to have contravened our rules and conduct will in due course be held accountable." South Africa's Competition Commission said last week that it had found more than a dozen local and foreign banks had colluded to coordinate trading in the rand and the U.S dollar using an instant chat room called ZAR Domination, a reference to the rand's official currency market code. It recommended fines amounting to 10...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
China remained the leading growth market for South Africa's tourism industry, with year-on-year growth recorded at 38 percent last year, figures released on Monday showed. The growth in tourist arrivals from China has been consistent over the year, following improvements in the visa application processes in those countries, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said. South Africa can build on this and attract even more tourists from China and other countries, the minister said after Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released figures which showed a sharp increase in tourist arrivals. According to Stats SA, international tourist arrivals surpassed 10 million last year, 13 percent more than 2015. This is well over the global average growth rate for the period. It is estimated...

Pages