Friday 23 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
South Africa's Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Monday the treasury would use its 500 billion rand ($40 billion) annual procurement budget to transform the economy and give more support to black-owned businesses. "The strategic use of state procurement is an important lever to grow black business," Gigaba told a business dinner in Johannesburg. "The state getting value for money is important but this aim should be considered in conjunction with our economic history." Gigaba, appointed after President Jacob Zuma sacked his predecessor, has backed Zuma's aim of redistributing wealth to poor blacks
(Independent Online 05/16/17)
Pretoria – Nigeria and South Africa are to deploy "cultural diplomacy’’ to effectively tackle the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa. Towards this, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria was keen to work with South Africa to put an end to the attacks by deploying the "soft power of cultural diplomacy’’, widely regarded as "an effective tool" in this regard. The minister made this known in Abuja on Friday, when the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, paid him a courtesy visit. Mohammed said relevant parastatals, including the National Council for Arts and Culture, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and the Nigerian Film Corporation, would soon embark on...
(AL Jazeera 05/16/17)
Court hears case for secret ballot in no-confidence motion against Jacob Zuma amid allegations of intimidation of MPs. South Africa's top court is debating whether legislators can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma as hundreds protest in Johannesburg demanding his removal. Zuma, who has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals, has survived similar votes in the parliament the past. Baleka Mbete, parliament speaker and a senior official of Zuma's African National Congress (ANC), said she had no powers to agree to a secret ballot. The ANC holds a majority in parliament. The opposition believes the latest motion will have better prospects if it is conducted in secret. Dali Mpofu, a lawyer representing the...
(BBC News Africa 05/16/17)
South Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, Vodacom, is buying a 35% stake in Kenya's largest mobile firm, Safaricom, for $2.6bn (£2bn). The stake in Safaricom is being sold by Vodafone as part of its drive to streamline its African businesses. The deal will extend the South African firm's influence in Kenya. It will also help increase the use of Safaricom's popular M-Pesa money transfer service across Africa. M-Pesa, launched 10 years ago in Kenya by Safaricom, lets people without bank accounts use their mobile phones to transfer money. However the tie-up comes just a year after Vodacom dropped M-Pesa in South Africa after it failed to prove popular with consumers. That failure was largely attributed to the fact that possessing...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
South Africa's highest court was to decide Monday whether lawmakers can cast secret ballots in a no-confidence vote in President Jacob Zuma who is facing growing criticism within the ruling ANC. Several hundred protesters marched to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg in the latest demonstrations against Zuma, who has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals. Opposition parties have lobbied for a secret ballot and called for African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers to "vote with their conscience". The ANC holds a large majority in parliament and Zuma has survived similar votes in the past, which have not been secret.
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
Vodafone Group Plc is simplifying its holdings in sub-Saharan Africa, selling a $2.6 billion stake in Kenya’s Safaricom Ltd. to its majority-owned Vodacom Group Ltd. The all-share deal will transfer a 35 percent stake in Safaricom to Vodacom in return for stock in the Johannesburg-based unit, raising the parent’s stake in its South African business to about 70 percent. Bloomberg News reported the deal on Sunday. The transaction gives Vodacom greater access to products such as M-Pesa, Safaricom’s fast-growing mobile-banking service. It also concentrates Vodafone’s African holdings more fully into Vodacom, simplifying management and continuing a push by the Newbury, England-based parent to tidy up its developing-markets investments. “It’s a big step in terms of commitment of Vodafone to Vodacom,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
South Africa plans to sign new, more transparent nuclear power agreements with five foreign countries after a high court blocked a deal with Russia due to a lack of oversight, the energy ministry said on Saturday. South Africa signed intergovernmental agreements with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the United States in 2014 as part of plans to build a fleet of nuclear power plants at a cost of between $30 billion and $70 billion. Many investors view the scale of the nuclear plan as unaffordable and a major risk to South Africa's financial stability, while opponents of President Jacob Zuma say the deal will be used as a conduit
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
The leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said on Friday it could win the 2019 election with the help of other parties as the African National Congress becomes increasingly divided under President Jacob Zuma. The ANC has comfortably won every parliamentary election since it swept to power under Nelson Mandela at the end of apartheid in 1994 and the DA had previously made ruling South Africa a long-term ambition. Most analysts put the chances of a DA-coalition victory in 2019 as low but believe it is achievable in 2024 if the ANC continues to disappoint its poor black support base. The ANC has lost popularity under Zuma following a string of scandals and a failure to address...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Xinhuanet 05/12/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma said on Friday his country and Tanzania have agreed to lessen barriers to ensure strong regional economic integration that will help address triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Africa need to soften barriers and boarders to ensure free and improved movement of people and goods, Zuma said. This is key for an inclusive economic growth in the continent and to ensure full implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063, Zuma said upon return from a two-day state visit to Tanzania, during which he held talks with his Tanzanian counterpart John Pomba Magufuli in Dar Se Salaam. Zuma characterized th e visit as "a remarkable success" as the two Heads of State discussed and agreed...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
The former chief executive of South Africa's state-owned power utility is to return to the post, officials said Friday, less than five months after he resigned over a corruption scandal that rocked the government. Brian Molefe, a close ally of President Jacob Zuma, resigned from Eskom and was sworn in as a member of parliament, with many observers expecting him to be promoted into the cabinet. But on Friday he stepped down as a lawmaker and was re-appointed to Eskom, in the latest surprise political move after Zuma sacked his respected finance minister in a cabinet purge in March. "Definitely‚ he is coming back on Monday," Eskom board spokesman Khulani Qoma told local media.
(The Citizen 05/12/17)
Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli has assured a South African business delegation that is in the country of immense cooperation to explore numerous investment opportunities in the country. He said this when addressing the Tanzania -South Africa business forum on Thursday. Explaining about the opportunities, he said that among many opportunities, the country has 44 million hectors of land and only 10million hectors had been used thereby leaving a lot of land for investment. He further added that the climate was favorable for agriculture and land fertile for all crops. He said that the country requirement for fish was at least 400,000 tons annually but only 30,000 tones were produced. "We invite you to invest in the sector...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
South Africa’s ruling party said the state-owned power producer’s decision to reinstate Brian Molefe as chief executive officer is “unfortunate and reckless” because none of the graft accusations against him have been set aside. Molefe, who resigned from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. in November, will return as CEO on Monday, Khulani Qoma, a spokesman for the producer’s board, said by phone on Friday. The Public Protector found in a report last year that Molefe favored the Gupta family, which is in business with President Jacob Zuma’s son, by awarding coal-supply contracts and helping them buy Optimum Coal Holdings Ltd. While he and Eskom denied wrongdoing, Molefe quit on Nov. 11. South Africa has directed billions of rand to help struggling...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
South Africa’s four biggest banks, criticized by President Jacob Zuma for doing too little to boost black participation in their companies, haven’t done themselves any favors. In the past decade, three boards have backslid on racial diversity and none of them reflects the country’s demographics. Of South Africa’s population of 56 million people, about 81 percent are black Africans, 8.1 percent are white and the rest are Indian, Asian or from a group referred to locally as coloreds, who were also discriminated against during apartheid. “Our board is representative of the pan-African nature of our business and our international shareholding,” Barclays Africa Group Ltd. said in an emailed response to questions, referring to its London-based parent, which is cutting its...
(Business Day 05/12/17)
Opposition parties have nothing to offer‚ presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says. She questioned why the ANC cowered when their rivals challenged them. Dlamini-Zuma‚ a member of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC)‚ was speaking at an interfaith and business dinner held at the White Horse Casino in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday evening. "Opposition is there to oppose‚ by definition. I don’t know why we get worried when they do. It doesn’t mean you must follow it. Since 1994 they have been opposing‚ but of late when the opposition opposes‚ we rush for cover. Why?" said Dlamini-Zuma. Former president FW de Klerk‚ who recently co-founded the National Foundations Dialogue Initiative with former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe‚ was also on the...
(Business Day 05/12/17)
Northern Cape premier believes the party will unite after the weekend election despite the bitter fight with the provincial secretary. Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas has admitted that differences between the two factions in the province was centred on national leadership of the ANC and not on ideology. Lucas is backing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC, while provincial secretary Zamani Saul is backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Lucas and Saul are set to square off for the post of chairperson at the party’s Northern Cape conference currently under way in Colesberg. Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Lucas said she believed the bitter fight between her and Saul would not lead to a split in the province and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/11/17)
South Africa's finance minister has sought to allay investor fears over his pledge of "radical economic transformation", toning down the rhetoric just over a month into the job to talk more of "inclusive growth". Malusi Gigaba, appointed after President Jacob Zuma sacked his predecessor Pravin Gordhan in a move that rattled markets, has backed Zuma's aim of redistributing wealth to poor blacks. While investors want the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to explain what is meant by radical transformation, Gigaba has in recent speeches used language that appears aimed to calm nerves, without
(AFP (eng) 05/11/17)
A South African university on Wednesday condemned Nazi-inspired posters advertising a "Anglo-Afrikaner" meeting and said three students were being questioned over the furore. The posters -- which copy Nazi propaganda images -- sparked immediate complaints when they appeared on noticeboards at Stellenbosch University, outside Cape Town, on Tuesday. "The posters and advertised event promoting racial polarisation (and) superiority combined with highly offensive references to Nazi propaganda and Neo-Nazism are totally unacceptable," the university said. "We cannot condone views, events, publicity campaigns or innuendo that undermine our innate equality
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
Protests in South Africa over a lack of access to housing, water and electricity that erupted in Johannesburg at the start of the week spread to parts of the capital, Pretoria, with police firing rubber bullets at a group who looted shops, barricaded roads and set tires and trash bins alight. Several people who joined the demonstrations in the Laudium township, southwest of Pretoria, were arrested and will face charges of public violence, Isaac Mahamba, a senior superintendent for the metropolitan police force, said Wednesday by phone. While the crowds dispersed after being addressed by city officials, the police remain on high alert, he said. Violent public protests have become commonplace among residents of poor South African communities who still...

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