Wednesday 13 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
The parents of Reeva Steenkamp, the model shot dead by Oscar Pistorius, expressed outrage Monday over an upcoming US film about how the Paralympic athlete gunned down their daughter. June and Barry Steenkamp said they were "horrified and upset" at reports that the film claimed to tell the story of the 2013 killing from the perspective of Reeva and June, her mother. The Steenkamps stressed they had not collaborated in the project or knew anything about it being made, and said they were still in mourning for their daughter. "Any impression that is created that this is June's view, or that the movie is endorsed by the Steenkamp family, is untrue and incorrect," they said in a statement. A trailer...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s audit regulator will fast-track an investigation into global auditor KPMG over work done for business friends of President Jacob Zuma, the regulator’s chief executive told lawmakers on Tuesday. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors’ inquiry into KPMG follows an internal investigation in which the firm found work it did for companies owned by the Gupta family “fell considerably short” of the firm’s standards. The Guptas, a trio of businessmen accused by a watchdog of improperly influencing the award of government contracts, has denied wrongdoing, as has Zuma. But KPMG last month cleared out its South African leadership as several companies considered dropping KPMG and after the finance minister asked government departments to review their...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/17)
Eleven people were killed in a series of overnight shootings in a Cape Town township, police said Saturday, including four victims shot dead when gunmen opened fire in a bar. Extra police officers were deployed to the Philipi district of Cape Town, a city that suffers from regular gang violence and armed clashes between rival criminal groups. "We have deployed teams comprising specialist detectives, high-risk units and intelligence operatives," police spokeswoman Novela Potelwa told the News 24 website. "We already executed search operations that are set to continue throughout the day. The police are doing their best to arrest those responsible." Tens of thousands of people live in informal shack settlements in Philipi, located in the notoriously crime-ridden Cape Flats...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/17)
The 2018 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed on either November 8 or November 9, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) said on Friday. The FSF said FIFA had decided on the possible dates for the rearranged game, with the initial 2-1 South Africa victory on November 12, 2016 having been chalked off after the match was manipulated by referee Joseph Lamptey. The Ghanaian awarded South Africa a controversial penalty in the original Group D encounter. Lamptey has since been given a life ban by FIFA for match manipulation. Burkina Faso and Cape Verde both have six points after four matches in Group D, with Senegal on five and South Africa on one, but with this...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
South Africa must sort out its political problems in order to kickstart structural reform and unlock economic growth, central bank governor Lesetja Kganyago told Reuters on Thursday. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference organised in London by the Bank of England, Kganyago also said financial market inflation expectations seemed to be out of kilter with reality. He added that he was happy with the South African Reserve Bank's independence following a flurry of criticism earlier this year. South Africa has fallen into recession in a year that has also seen corruption rows, infighting between potential successors to scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma and the row over central bank independence. Kganyago said that politics remained the key to economic improvement, especially...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
With South Africa's "strike season" in full swing, the Department of Labor on Thursday warned against frequent strikes that is harming both the economy and the labor force. In its latest Industrial Action Report, the department said the South African labor market lost a total of 946,323 working days as a result of 122 work stoppages last year. This represents a 4.7-percent increase in working days lost in 2016 as compared to 903,921 days in 2015, according to the report. In term of wages lost, the South African labor economy lost approximately 161 million rand (about 12 million U.S. dollars) due to work stoppages in 2016, up from 116 million rand in 2015. Most of the work stoppages were due...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
South Africa’s central bank has told top lenders they cannot fire auditor KPMG [KPMG.UL], entangled in a scandal involving friends of President Jacob Zuma, because it might undermine financial stability, two sources with knowledge of the matter said. KPMG sacked its South African leadership two weeks ago after it found work the accounting firm had done for companies owned by the Gupta family “fell considerably short” of its standards. KPMG has said it will ask a senior legal figure to conduct an external investigation into whether its South Africa-based workers were complicit in illegal activities or colluded in producing a report that has since been discredited. The scandal has raised questions about the survival of the local unit of KPMG,...
(Eye Witness News 09/29/17)
Eskom has also confirmed that former acting CEO Matshela Koko's disciplinary hearing is scheduled to commence within the next two weeks. Almost 20 hours after Eyewitness News revealed that Eskom's chief financial officer Anoj Singh has been suspended, the utility has now finally confirmed the sanction. It released a statement a few minutes ago, saying Singh who was on special leave has now been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. Eskom has also confirmed that former acting CEO Matshela Koko's disciplinary hearing is scheduled to commence within the next two weeks. Gia Nicolaides
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Financial Times 09/28/17)
Cosatu backs Ramaphosa to succeed the president as ANC leader. South Africa’s biggest trade union federation brought thousands of workers on to the streets of cities to protest against corruption under President Jacob Zuma, and demand that Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, replace him. Wednesday’s national strike, organised by Cosatu, which has 1.7m members, and the South African Communist party, took place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and other big cities across the country. That the protest was even called for reveals the deep fractures within the ruling African National Congress over Mr Zuma’s scandal-hit leadership — including his ties to the Gupta business family — as Cosatu and the Communist party are part of the ruling African National Congress alliance...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
As the battle to succeed South African President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress grows increasingly fractious, party Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize is emerging as a possible compromise choice to keep the continent’s oldest political movement from tearing itself apart. While the race for the top job is widely seen as a head-to-head contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the president’s ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Mkhize, a 61-year-old medical doctor, has two advantages: he’s stayed above the infighting and has strong support in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal, which has the most ANC members of the nation’s nine provinces.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
South Africa’s economic growth will be significantly hampered by increasing political uncertainty in the run-up to the ruling African National Congress’s leadership contest in December, Fitch said on Thursday. In a report released by its BMI research arm, Fitch said a turn to more “radical rhetoric and policy positions by the traditionalist wing of the party” would weigh on investor confidence. “Mining and manufacturing activity are likely to be hit especially hard by the political challenges, as the elevated policy uncertainty stymies much-needed investment,” Fitch said in the report. The continent’s most industrialised economy contracted in the last quarter of 2016 and the first of 2017 before recording marginal growth in the second quarter. Average expansion is forecast around 1...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
South Africa's political parties should be required to disclose the source of their funding, a court ruled on Wednesday, potentially exposing the patronage networks that have influenced power in the two decades since apartheid. The ruling by the Western Cape High Court, which orders parliament to amend access-to-information laws, comes against opposition from some parties who fear disclosure could jeopardize funding. Judge Yasmin Meer said in court papers that disclosure of the private funding of political parties and independent candidates was required for the effective exercise of the right to vote in elections and to make political choices. She instructed parliament to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) accordingly. The application challenging the constitutionality of PAIA, which...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
South Africa’s notoriously volatile rand has been sailing into calmer waters in recent months, with price swings narrowing to the lowest level in almost three years. That’s about to change, options pricing suggests. The rand’s three-month implied volatility against the dollar has soared relative to actual fluctuations as the ruling African National Congress’s leadership contest approaches, suggesting traders are paying up for protection ahead of an event that may introduce two-way risks for the currency. The ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, is in turmoil because of scandals that have shadowed Jacob Zuma, 75, during his eight-year presidency. The party is embroiled in a factional split between supporters of his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
South Africa’s potential bailout of the state-owned airline could place pressure on the nation’s finances because other government-run companies that are cash-strapped and mismanaged may come to expect the same, Moody’s Investors Service said. “It generates moral hazards because then larger state-owned enterprises see it and there perhaps will be the perception that the government will always come and bail out, without reforms,” Zuzana Brixiova, Moody’s senior vice president for sovereign risk and its lead analyst for South Africa, said in an interview in London Wednesday. Loss-making South African Airways needs a recapitalization of at least 10 billion rand ($738 million) and there are plans to strengthen its board, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said last month. In addition, the government...
(AL Jazeera 09/28/17)
Trade union confederation says time has come for 'workers and citizens to stand up and push back against this rot'. Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in cities across South Africa to protest against government corruption, state capture and job losses. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), both in alliance with the ruling ANC, say the strike on Wednesday is largely against corruption, but the call to take to the streets is also seen as an indictment against President Jacob Zuma. Protests took place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, among other cities, with marchers carrying 'Zuma Must Fall' placards and singing anti-Zuma songs. COSATU wants Zuma to appoint...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
The ratings downgrades have put pressure on South African asset prices and could increase its borrowing costs. South Africa’s credit rating is well placed at the lowest investment grade, but rising foreign ownership of the government’s local-currency bonds is a risk, a senior analyst at Moody’s ratings agency said. Two of the three large international ratings agencies S&P Global and Fitch - downgraded South Africa’s foreign-currency rating to speculative grade, or “junk” status, this year after the economy slowed and an abrupt Cabinet reshuffle in March. Moody’s downgraded South Africa to “Baa3”, one notch above junk, in June and has the continent’s most industrialised economy on a negative outlook. The ratings downgrades have put pressure on South African asset prices...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/17)
Thousands of angry South African trade unionists took to the streets across the nation on Wednesday to call for President Jacob Zuma to resign over alleged top-level corruption. In Johannesburg roughly 2,000 members of the COSATU trade union federation, South Africa's largest, marched armed with "Zuma must go, corruption is a crime against humanity" placards. They accuse Zuma of massive looting of state resources and collusion with the influential Gupta business family who are at the centre of many of the graft allegations against the president. COSATU...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/27/17)
Thousands of South Africans will march on Wednesday against corruption under President Jacob Zuma’s rule, in protests led by unions which have backed a rival to the president’s faction as the next leader of the ANC. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which is in an alliance with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has called on its more than one million members to strike and join marches in major cities across South Africa. Though the protests are officially against graft broadly, much of the frustration and anger is aimed at Zuma. “Corruption has become endemic under this administration,” COSATU said in a statement. “This calls for all of us as workers and citizens to stand up and...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he won’t ask Africa’s biggest money manager to provide funds to bail out state-owned companies that will put the pensions of government workers at risk. “There is no attempt to dip into pensions for reasons that are unscrupulous,” Gigaba told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday after a meeting with the board of the Public Investment Corp. The event was scheduled after media reports said that the National Treasury is seeking to use PIC funds to put into struggling government entities such as South African Airways. The Treasury is in talks with the PIC about buying part of its 39 percent stake in phone company Telkom SA SOC Ltd., and the discussions are ongoing,...

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