| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Celebrated South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule and a fellow Robben Island prisoner, died Tuesday aged 87. Kathrada was among those tried and jailed alongside Mandela in the 1964 Rivonia trial, which drew worldwide attention to the brutalities of the apartheid regime. He died in hospital in Johannesburg after a short illness following brain surgery, his charity foundation said. Kathrada spent 26 years and three months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island, the notorious jail off the coast of Cape Town. After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 to 1999 as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress (ANC)...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan returned to South Africa on Tuesday after President Jacob Zuma recalled him from a trade trip, fuelling speculation of a dramatic political showdown. Zuma's decision to order Gordhan back from Britain in the middle of an investment roadshow led to predictions that Gordhan may soon be sacked -- a move likely to deepen sharp divisions in the ruling ANC party. The president and Gordhan have had an increasingly uneasy relationship in recent months. Zuma has vowed to enact "radical economic transformation" to tackle racial inequality and poverty
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Celebrated South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, a Robben Island prisoner and one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule, died early Tuesday aged 87. Kathrada was among those tried and jailed alongside Mandela in the Rivonia trial in 1964, which drew worldwide attention to the brutalities of the apartheid regime. He died in hospital in Johannesburg after a short illness following brain surgery, his charity foundation said. Kathrada spent 26 years and three months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island, the notorious jail off the coast of Cape Town. After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 to 1999 as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela, was feted as a humble liberation hero who shunned the power and glory that came with freedom. Unlike many struggle veterans, Kathrada, who was imprisoned on Robben Island, never held public political office after the fall of apartheid and Mandela's election as president in 1994. He choose instead to serve as one of Mandela's closest advisors during his time as the country's first black leader. When Mandela left office in 1999, after serving a single four-year term, Kathrada also stepped away from politics -- immersing himself in activism through his Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. Released from prison in 1989, the softly-spoken Kathrada commanded huge respect within the African National...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma told senior leaders of the South African Communist Party that he plans to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The rand plummeted. Zuma told officials from the party, which is allied to his ruling African National Congress, during a meeting on Monday in Johannesburg, according to the people, who were present and asked not to be identified because a public statement has not been made. He didn’t say when he planned to fire Gordhan. Zuma, 74, ordered Gordhan to cancel meetings with investors in the U.K. and the U.S. and return home on Monday, a day after he had flown to London to begin the week-long roadshow...
(Xinhuanet 03/28/17)
South Africa's Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strategic cooperation with Bank of China in Johannesburg to strengthen the relations between the two entities. The MOU will enable both parties to treat each other as a preferred partner and share information on investment opportunities. It will also enable both parties to optimize their own advantages in initiating mutual investment promotion campaigns and to join hands in supporting enterprises of the two countries for more profound investments, as well as economic and trade cooperation. Dr. Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, said the signing of the MOU will enhance cooperation between the two countries. "The MOU will allow and strengthen the relations...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Anglo American Plc’s former South Africa director, Khanyisile Kweyama, was appointed interim chairman of the nation’s public broadcaster, President Jacob Zuma’s office said Sunday, as he named five members to the board. Kwenyama, who also is chief executive of Business Unity South Africa, will lead the South African Broadcasting Commission after Mbulaheni Maguvhe, the former chairman and last board member, left in December amid a revolt by journalists against censorship and a parliamentary inquiry. "We wish Ms. Kweyama and her team well as they begin the important task of leading and revitalizing one of the most important national resources, the SABC," Zuma said in a statement. Zuma also named John Matisson, Mathatha Tsedu, Febbe Portgieter-Gqubule and Krish Naidoo for an...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
South African police said they discovered weapons and explosives including a suicide bomb vest stashed in the basement of a Johannesburg building on Monday. Police spokesman Mavela Masondo said they were called after workers renovating the building found a "suspicious bag". "Our bomb disposal unit found 60 bombs and seven assault rifles including AK-47s in the bag," Masondo added. In a sweep of the area, police discovered more weapons in the basement of the building, including a suicide bomb vest and pistols, Masondo said. No arrests have been made. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by Andrew Roche)
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma has ordered his finance minister to return from an overseas investment trip, the presidency said Monday, fuelling speculation that a cabinet reshuffle is imminent. Zuma's decision to recall Pravin Gordhan from Britain has led to media speculation that he could be sacked. The two men have had an increasingly uneasy relationship in recent months. Friction has soared between Zuma, who is seeking to fund a "radical economic transformation", and Gordhan who is taking a stand against graft and heavy spending. "Fears are growing that President Jacob Zuma will finally pull the trigger and reshuffle his Cabinet," wrote the Daily Maverick news site following
(Reuters (Eng) 03/27/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to return from an investor roadshow to Britain and the United States on Monday because he "did not give permission for the trip", a government source said. Appointed in late 2015 after a predecessor's sudden sacking, Gordhan was in London for the first leg of a week-long non-deal investor roadshow in Britain and the United States. Weak economic growth and tensions within the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) have put South Africa's investment grade credit rating at risk. The rand fell as much as 1.7 percent following the report, while bonds weakened sharply. Banking shares on the Johannesburg bourse fell more than 2 percent. "They were told last night...
(Financial Times 03/27/17)
The rand dropped sharply on Monday morning after South African President Jacob Zuma recalled his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, from investor trips to London and New York at the last minute, amid speculation that he is about to reshuffle his cabinet including the Treasury post. In a statement, the president’s office said that he had instructed Mr Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, “to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return to South Africa immediately.” No reason was given for the recall by the presidency. The South African Treasury could not be reached for comment. The rand plunged almost 2 per cent in less than half an hour after the decision...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Monday called on Parliament to fasttrack promulgation of an anti-hate crime bill The ANC has been pushing for the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill to criminalize racism, which many fear is rearing its head in South Africa. "The racist onslaught has become more direct; racists in our society are getting even more emboldened, entrenching anger amongst the people," the ANC said in a statement. It came after the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) held an ordinary meeting on March 24-26 in Gauteng Province to discuss issues including the recent incidents of racism. South Africa has seen an outburst of racist remarks on social media. In the latest...
(Business Day 03/27/17)
'Koko's reported actions could show that he is compromised and unfit to be the head of Eskom'. South Africa's main opposition party wants the anti-graft watchdog to investigate whether the acting CEO of power utility Eskom violated procurement rules for allegedly giving contracts to a firm where his stepdaughter was a director. The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday that it would write to the Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated watchdog, urging a probe to establish if Matshela Koko violated state procurement guidelines by awarding the tenders. The Sunday Times reported that Eskom awarded tenders worth 1 billion rand ($80.5 million) to a company where Koko's stepdaughter was a director at a time when he had oversight of the department...
(Business Day 03/27/17)
It's a multibillion-dollar transnational business empire with its own financial targets, line managers, security personnel and CEOs It's a multibillion-dollar transnational business empire with its own financial targets, line managers, security personnel and CEOs. The playing field is spread over 6,000 disused gold, diamond, chrome and platinum mines across South Africa. With a workforce of up to 30,000 people - equivalent to the population of a small mining town such as Carletonville on the West Rand - the operations of illegal mining syndicates run day and night. Many of the illegal miners are immigrants, often working in conditions reminiscent of slavery. Illegal mining has been identified as a national threat and a multi-agency team has been formed toco-ordinate government efforts...
(Business Day 03/27/17)
The bank argues there is potential for an agricultural boom in Africa but it all hinges on Nigeria and SA South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s two largest economies, need to work on their political stability if they are to take advantage of the current upturn in emerging markets, vice-president of agriculture, human and social development at the African Development Bank Jennifer Blanke said. There is potential for an agricultural boom in Africa but according to the bank it all hinges on Nigeria and SA. "People are very excited about Africa right now. SA and Nigeria face a lot more challenges because they are more mature markets and so people are looking at things like political stability and things like...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Gulfnews 03/25/17)
Legoete saw people with no medical insurance using private care in Bengaluru hospital. Portia Lekgoto faced a dilemma: how to take her three-year-old daughter to a doctor without missing a day of work while waiting in line at one of only two public health clinics in the South African shantytown of Diepsloot. She decided to take her daughter to Quali Health, a new private clinic that a friend had told her about. While she had to pay 250 rand (Dh73 or $19) for the visit, she finished the consultation by mid-morning. “I am going to now drop my daughter off at her granny with the medication we have been given and then I will go into work,” Lekgoto, 34, said...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
A private South African dormitory housing white-only Afrikaans-speaking students attending the University of Pretoria on Thursday defended its controversial race-based policy and rejected allegations of racism. Named "De Goede Hoop Koshuis" -- or "The Good Hope Residence" -- the privately-owned digs opened in February to Christian students who speak Afrikaans. Speaking to Radio 702, facility coordinator Janli Sonntag said the aim was to preserve Christian values and Afrikaans culture, rejecting claims its policy was discriminative. She said Afrikaans-speaking students had recently been targeted by other students on campus over their language and accused of being racist.
(Financial Times 03/24/17)
China’s oil companies move downstream as bid for upstream assets stumbles. Chinese oil companies are turning their focus to overseas retail and services markets, as slowing growth in domestic fuel demand makes their traditional home market less attractive. Sinopec this week agreed to buy Chevron’s 75 per cent stake in a Cape Town refinery, affiliated service stations and convenience stores in South Africa and Botswana for $900m. It was the only remaining bidder after a year-long tender process. The purchase puts Sinopec in the ranks of international oil companies including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, Kuwait Petroleum and PTT of Thailand that operate petrol stations outside their borders. It also marks a shift among Chinese oil companies’ overseas investments from...

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