Thursday 21 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
South Africa’s government is considering merging its three state-owned airlines into one entity, and offering a 25 percent stake of the holding company to a private equity partner, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday. The loss-making South African Airways, its low-cost arm Mango and SAA Express, which services smaller towns, are struggling to remain profitable amid increased competition and rising operational costs. “I believe the answer to all of it lies in how we rationalize the three companies and how we bring in a 25 percent shareholder to help us with both management as well as on finances,” Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown told a parliamentary committee.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
South African precious metals producer Sibanye Gold (SGLJ.J) reported an interim loss on Wednesday, citing impairments and provisions for an expected settlement with miners who contracted lung diseases at work. A class action lawsuit, mostly relating to the fatal lung disease silicosis, was filed on behalf of miners in 2012 and has led to mounting provisions related to the health and safety conditions afforded the black workforce during South Africa’s apartheid past. The company posted a headline loss per share of 147 cents for the six months to June 30, in line with what it had previously flagged to the market. That compared with earnings of 79 cents in the same period last year. The provision for the expected occupational...
(Eye Witness News 08/30/17)
SAA is owed about a billion rand in revenue earned in other African countries, with Angola the single largest debtor. South Africa will press the newly-elected Angolan government to pay R850 million it owes struggling South African Airways (SAA), the finance minister said on Tuesday. The airline runs one of Africa’s biggest fleets but is loss-making. SAA is owed a total of some R1 billion in revenue earned in other African countries, with Angola the single largest debtor, a treasury document showed. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said the Treasury was talking to Angola and other African governments that owe the airline to get the funds repatriated. “We understand that Angola is facing its own difficulties economically, but so are we...
(Times Live 08/30/17)
It is unclear whether municipalities in the City of Tshwane and Johannesburg would be prepared to pay back funds paid by home owners towards previous home owners’ debt. This after the Constitutional Court upheld an order that new owners should not be inheriting the municipal debt of their predecessors. Addressing a press conference in Johannesburg shortly after the ruling was delivered‚ Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said they were yet to study the order and pave a way forward. The Constitutional Court declared that upon transfer of a property‚ a new owner is not liable for previous debts under section 118(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act. “For once‚ we now have a clarity on the matter. That is very...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
South Africa’s RCL Foods has found the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at one of its poultry farms, it said on Tuesday, as it reported a 34 percent drop in full-year earnings due to a surge in input costs. The outbreak of avian flu on South African farms has prompted neighboring countries including Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana to ban poultry imports from the country. RCL financial director Rob Field said avian flu, which has already been detected on two farms belonging to fellow poultry producer Astral, was found on its breeder farm in Gauteng. “We have had one incident at a breeder farm and fortunately the financial impact was negligible,” said Field, providing no further detail. Astral last week said...
(Xinhuanet 08/30/17)
The South African government on Tuesday called for a negotiated solution to the Korean Peninsula crisis. "It is only through a negotiated solution that the issues affecting the Korean Peninsula can be resolved," the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said. The department issued the statement following the launch of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the territory of Japan. South Africa deplores the launch of the missile, which again violates the obligations of the DPRK under various UN Security Council resolutions, DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela said. "This most recent ballistic missile launch over the territory of Japan represents a serious and unacceptable escalation of an already complex security situation in the region,"...
(APA 08/30/17)
The South African currency has strengthened through 13 rands to the United States dollar in trading as the latter weakened to a 28-month low against the euro in risk-off trade due to renewed tension on the Korean peninsula, according to economists here on Wednesday. The greenback has been on the back foot since the conclusion of the Jackson Hole (in Wisconsin State, USA) symposium of central bankers over the weekend as US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen provided little further detail on the expected interest-rate trajectory for the year ahead, the economists said. North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over northern Japan‚ which exploded over a remote area in the Pacific‚ worsened the prospects for the greenback as investors...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
Sibanye Gold Ltd. canceled its dividend after debt ballooned while it swung to a loss, marking a series of firsts for the South African producer that’s been one of the world’s top performers in its four-year history. Sibanye will focus on cutting borrowings after its $2.2 billion purchase of U.S. platinum-group metals producer Stillwater Mining Co. earlier this year, making the payment of a cash dividend “inappropriate,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Wednesday. The miner, the biggest producer of South African gold, has also contended with a stronger rand this year, which eats into earnings, and charges related to plans to close some unprofitable gold mines in South Africa. Sibanye has been pursuing growth and adding assets while...
(Eye Witness News 08/30/17)
DA MP David Maynier asked that the family and others be investigated for racketeering, money-laundering and tax evasion. Acting head of the Hawks Yolisa Matakata has confirmed that an investigation is underway into the alleged use of state funds to pay for the Gupta family wedding at Sun City. Matakata faces questions during a joint meeting of parliamentary committees on illicit financial flows. Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier opened a case after it emerged that about R30 million intended for a Gupta-linked dairy farm in the Free State was used to foot the bill for the lavish wedding in 2013. Maynier laid a complaint with police against Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, two of their employees and Mining Minister Mosebenzi...
(Times Live 08/30/17)
Eyebrows were raised after former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba declared his loyal and passionate support for the national team ahead of Friday's away 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. Mashaba was at the helm when the World Cup qualification programme began last year but the burly mentor was suspended after a heated altercation with South African Football Association (Safa) officials in November last year and was later fired. He was sacked for “gross misconduct‚ insubordination and violating his employer's communications policy”. But he left Bafana in a strong position to qualify for the 2018 global showpiece as coach Stuart Baxter's charges are second in World Cup qualifying group D after two matches‚ level on four points with...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
The former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday dismissed criticism that her bid to succeed him in office is a strategy to protect him from criminal prosecution. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former chief of the African Union, is a leading candidate to replace Zuma as head of the ruling ANC party in December and then as national president within two years. President Zuma is widely seen as favouring Dlamini-Zuma, with whom he has four children, ahead of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the race that could...
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
Duduzane Zuma, a son of South African President Jacob Zuma, said all of his bank accounts have been closed because of pressure on financial institutions from former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Duduzane Zuma’s business relationship with the Gupta family, who have been accused of wielding influence over Zuma and some state-owned companies, has been criticized by opposition parties. South Africa’s four biggest banks shut Gupta-controlled company accounts last year, citing reputational risk and regulatory concerns. India’s Bank of Baroda, the last lender to continue doing business with them, is in the process of following suit. “You have used various state bodies such as the Financial Intelligence Centre
(Business Day 08/29/17)
The private healthcare industry has the expertise and capacity to help the government improve public health under National Health Insurance (NHI), Afrocentric CEO Antoine van Buuren says, citing his company’s recent experience delivering medicines to state patients as a case in point. The Department of Health has recently softened its approach on the role of the private sector in implementing NHI, opening the way for industry to play a greater role. Afrocentric’s courier pharmacy business, Pharmacy Direct, began providing chronic medicines to stable state patients in 2013, as part of the department’s central chronic medicines and dispensing and distribution programme, which aims to relieve congestion at hospitals and clinics. Pharmacy Direct won tenders in all but two provinces — KwaZulu-Natal...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to cut foreign aid supporting HIV/AIDS treatment could cost 9 million years of lost life in South Africa and Ivory Coast, according to a global study released on Monday. In the first study to measure the impact of cuts in global investment in HIV care in terms of health and costs, scientists found sky-rocketing deaths in the African nations would far outweigh savings. South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV worldwide, with 19 percent of its adult population carrying the virus in 2015, according to UNAIDS, with a total of 7 million HIV-infected people. Ivory Coast counted 460,000 HIV-infected people in that same year. Trump’s proposed budget for 2018, made public in May, envisions...
(Business Day 08/29/17)
Presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says advisory groups with business should be set up to enable "consultation" and "discussion" on radical economic transformation and policy shifts after the ANC’s elective conference in December. Dlamini-Zuma told the GIBS Forum on Tuesday that no patriotic South African would be comfortable with the current status quo — of poverty, unemployment and glaring inequality — and should work with the government to turn things around. It could no longer be "business as usual", she said. The relationship between government and business has been strained by a series of actions by President Jacob Zuma and his administration that have knocked business confidence. Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday that the "trust deficit" between government and business had to...
(New Zimbabwe 08/29/17)
President Mugabe has expressed bitterness over African countries that voted in favour of a decision by western countries to invade Libya resulting in the killing of President Muammar Gaddafi. Officially opening the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa Summit in Victoria Falls Monday, President Mugabe who was the guest of honour, castigated the killing of "innocent" people by "greedy and envious" world leaders. He also spoke at length about the killing of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adding that he (Mugabe) had no respect for former Britain and America leaders Tony Blair and George Bush after they connived to kill him (Hussein) on unfounded claims of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. "Because of envy that Iraq has...
(Eye Witness News 08/29/17)
Lawmakers are discussing the state of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, an entity which supports community media in South Africa. Members of Parliament (MPs) have taken a dim view of the Deputy Communications Minister’s no show in Parliament today. Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee was surprised to hear that Thandi Mahambehlala had taken study leave today even though she was expected to attend their meeting about a state-owned entity under her department’s supervision. Lawmakers are discussing the state of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, an entity which supports community media in South Africa. MPs received an apology from Communications Minister Ayanada Dlodlo, who is booked off sick for most of the week, but they had not received an official...
(Eye Witness News 08/29/17)
ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa says those who lose at the elective conference in December should immediately rally behind those who win. African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa says those who lose at the elective conference in December should immediately rally behind those who win. He says that will stop factionalism and allow the party to rectify its mistakes. Ramaphosa was speaking at a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) rally in Seshego in Limpopo. With the succession battle gaining momentum, Ramaphosa has called on ANC members to vote for leaders who are not tainted. The deputy president spoke out against factionalism with the ruling party. He was welcomed with songs, saying “Ramaphosa, Our President”. Ramaphosa has...
(Eye Witness News 08/29/17)
Cosatu’s Secretary-General Bheki Ntshali-Nthsali says they will be meeting with the Finance Minister later today. Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will be discussing their concerns around job losses with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba at its central executive committee meeting later today. Among other topics, the trade union will also look at ways to ways to bolster its support for their preferred candidate, Cyril Ramaphosa, as the next leader of the governing party. The African National Congress’s elective conference will take place in December. Cosatu’s Secretary-General Bheki Ntshali-Nthsali says they will be meeting with Gigaba later today. “We’ve got our Section 77 in Nedlac which were calling for the moratorium on job losses. We’re talking about the reversal of...

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