| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
The rally that made South Africa’s rand the world’s best-performing currency this year might be nearing its end, according to Old Mutual Investment Group. The currency gained 10 percent against the dollar in 2017, supported by higher prices for metals mined in Africa’s most industrialized economy, and expectations that gross domestic product growth will rebound from the slowest expansion since the 2009 recession. Together with a 13 percent advance last year, the rand is close to almost wiping out its 2015 losses. “While the fundamentals are improving, which would suggest rand strength, we’ve probably seen quite a lot of it already,” said Hywel George, director of investments at Cape Town-based Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa, which oversees about 600...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
On March 17th, 2017, the South African government has revealed in the Government Gazette a bill to prevent foreigners from owning agricultural lands in the country. Entitled “Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill”, the bill should, according to Bloomberg, be submitted to the parliament for approval in April. Though it appears as a mean to tackle the growing issue of land grabs in Africa, the measure seems to bear a political message to those who are against the Zuma government land policy. Indeed, the government ceases not to multiply the good gestures. Pressured by the opposition, mainly the Economic Freedom Fighters, which is the radical party of ANC led since 2012 by Julius Malema, Jacob Zuma recently, against its party’s...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The South African government on Friday condemned a "resurgence of racist posts" on social media and vowed to pursue the offenders. "Whilst government respects freedom of expression, it will not allow racism to disrupt the gains we have made as a country," the government said in a statement in response to the recent spate of racist utterances on social media. In the latest incident, a Limpopo man posted on Facebook about crowded beaches in Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, while calling black beachgoers "cockroaches" who stole money to go on holiday. This came almost a year after a similar post by an estate agent calling black beachgoers "monkeys". "The government condemns the resurgence of racist posts on Twitter and Facebook which...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. The South African government on Wednesday suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazil meat scandal. South Africa is joining a chorus of other countries after China, the European Union, South Korea and Chile on Monday announced restrictions of red meat imports from Brazil due to recent evidence showing that Brazilian meat-packers have been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, especially to export markets.
(The Citizen 03/23/17)
Free State and Limpopo’s provincial executive committees have also endorsed Ramaphosa. The Gauteng chapter of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has joined the increasing number of the federation’s structures to endorse ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as the party’s next president and subsequently president of the republic. Cosatu Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said the provincial executive committee agreed with the decision of the federation’s central executive committee, which identified Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma. Free State and Limpopo’s provincial executive committees also endorsed Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa is earmarked to contest the post against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The contest has divided the ANC into two groups, each supporting one of the candidates. While Cosatu...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
A Johannesburg woman was allegedly raped in the back of a taxi in front of her 10-year-old son on Sunday. Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Maloban e has called on women who have been sexually assaulted by taxi drivers to come forward and report the crimes, and she’s urging taxi drivers to point out rapists. The MEC held a meeting with taxi associations in Johannesburg on Thursday. Eyewitness News revealed the latest case on Thursday morning that a Johannesburg woman was allegedly raped in the back of a taxi in front of her 10-year-old son on Sunday. Police have confirmed two other cases were reported in the Roodepoort area last year, and that several cases have been opened in...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
A boy of 10 was forced to lie face down while his mother was subjected to a four-hour rape ordeal in a Johannesburg taxi, reports from South Africa say. He and his mother were allegedly tricked into boarding the minibus taxi before she was assaulted and ordered to hand over her bank card and PIN number by the three armed occupants. It is thought to be the latest in a string of attacks by the gang. The first reports of the "rape taxi" were made a year ago. According to the Roodeport Record, the initial attacks happened in March 2016, with at least three taking place in one week last June. All took place in, or near, the Johannesburg township...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
China's Sinopec (600028.SS) (0386.HK) will pay almost $1 billion for a 75 percent stake in Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana to secure its first major refinery in Africa, the companies announced on Wednesday. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, said the assets include a 100,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban as well as 820 petrol stations and other oil storage facilities. Chevron Global Energy Inc said in a statement that Sinopec's bid was selected in part because of the better terms and conditions it offered, including a commitment to operate the businesses as going concerns and the opportunity to reap strategic value for...
(Eye Witness News 03/23/17)
The Higher Education Department says it believes the Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help in addressing NSFAS shortfalls. The Department of Higher Education and Training says that while it believes funding for poor students is feasible in South Africa, it is uncertain whether it is possible for all students. It has made submissions at the fees commission of inquiry into higher education and training. The department says it believes the newly piloted Ikusasa Financial Aid Scheme blueprint will help in addressing the shortfalls of the current government student funding system, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Department deputy director-general Diane Parker told the commission government cannot alone support all students in need of financial aid. Parker says NSFAS...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria. South African business people who participated in a trade and investment mission to Ghana have expressed confidence that they will soon see tangible results from the trip, the department of trade and industry (dti) said on Wednesday. The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria, which runs until Saturday, March 25. The two-day Ghanaian leg included a trade and investment seminar, business to business meetings and site visits to the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Group Five and the Ghana Energy Commission. One delegate, Christopher Moonien, said his company, Conlog Solutions for...
(Premium Times 03/23/17)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said the latest fracas in South Africa, in which two Nigerians were involved, was not a xenophobic attack. The ministry in a statement by its spokesperson, Clement Aduku, in Abuja, said that there was no reported loss of live during the incident. It expressed concern that the incident came barely few days when both Nigerian and South African Governments successfully proffered solution to xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa. It said that contrary to media reports, the latest incident was a scuffle that took place on March 14, 2017 in a motor park in Polokwane in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. According to the statement, during the scuffle, two Nigerians were...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/17)
South Africa's police chief said Wednesday three men had been arrested over a mysterious weekend break-in at the offices of the country's top judge, where 15 computers were stolen. The crime caused a public and political storm with the opposition calling it a attack on the judicial system, as the theft occurred hours after the Constitutional Court headed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng delivered a scathing ruling against the ANC government over welfare payments. The computers containing sensitive information about 250 judges were stolen on Saturday during a burglary at Mogoeng's offices in Johannesburg.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a robbery where 15 computers containing information on South Africa's judges and court officials were stolen, acting national police commissioner said on Wednesday. Khomotso Phahlane said the three suspects will appear in court this morning and more arrests were expected. "At this stage we do not have information on whether it was and inside job or not.... the investigation is still at the preliminary level," Phahlane said. "We can't tell what the motive is at this stage." The office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called the crime a huge setback
(Financial Times 03/22/17)
South African police have arrested three men over a break-in at the offices of the country’s chief justice which has shaken confidence in the independence of its judiciary. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting national police commissioner, said on Wednesday that despite the arrests, the police had not yet recovered computers stolen from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office which contained sensitive personal files on judges. Saturday’s break-in has raised the alarm among civil-society groups and opposition parties in South Africa as it came a day after the highest court heavily criticised the government over its handling of a near-meltdown in the welfare system. South Africa’s state security agency has denied that it was involved in the burglary while the ruling African National...
(Bloomberg 03/21/17)
South Africa has proposed a new law banning foreigners directly buying agricultural land in the country as the government seeks to boost ownership for the black majority. Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties or the land should be majority owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17. The ruling African National Congress is seeking to accelerate the transfer of land to the black majority to help reduce inequality and reverse the legacy of white-minority rule. President Jacob Zuma has also vowed to step up wealth distribution, promising “radical economic transformation” in...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
South African airport customs officials have confiscated male sexual enhancement tablets worth 20.6 million rand ($1.63 million) en route to Swaziland from India, the revenue service said on Monday. Customs officers found 80,000 tablets and 126,000 oral jellies in transit sheds at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport on Sunday. The pills were wrapped in brown sacks sent from Mumbai. "These tablets are restricted and controlled substances and must have permits when being imported," the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said in a statement. "The shipment has been handed over to the Medical Council of South Africa for further investigation." SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said the police would investigate who had sent the pills and the intended recipient. (Reporting by Joe Brock, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
(Eye Witness News 03/21/17)
Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. A class action lawsuit in the UK over the VW emissions scandal could spark similar cases in other countries, including South Africa. More than 35,000 people in Britain are being represented with the number expected to grow to 100,000 or more. The carmaker used technology to misrepresent emission levels of nitrogen oxide. Lawyer Damon Parker says the lawsuit is about ethics with people feeling cheated. “People feel strongly about the environment and corporates and it’s an important corporate scandal.” Parker says while regulations are different in countries like South Africa, it's possible motorists there will unite in a similar kind of lawsuit. In the UK, VW is...
(AL Jazeera 03/21/17)
 
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Property developers buying and renovating old buildings are driving up prices and rents. Some poor families in Cape Town face being moved out, and it's evoking painful memories of apartheid in South Africa. Al Jazeera's Tania Page reports from Wolf River, Cape Town. Tania Page

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