Wednesday 26 July 2017
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
Residents of Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city, and other towns in the surrounding Western Cape province mopped up the damage Thursday after a devastating storm that caused nine deaths, flattened hundreds of shacks and downed power lines and trees. Four people died in a fire caused by a lightning strike in the northern Cape Town suburb of Kraaifontein, while another was killed in the Lavender Hill area when a building collapsed, according to the provincial government. About 830 shacks in the city were damaged by flooding or had their roofs ripped off. Efforts were under way to provide shelter, food, blankets and other relief to about 2,500 people affected by the storm, the worst in at least three decades,...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
A ferocious storm killed eight people as it pummelled South Africa's west coast on Wednesday, forcing the closure of Cape Town harbour, triggering flash floods and causing extensive damage, authorities said. The weather system which struck on Tuesday has damaged buildings, felled trees, left 46,000 homes without electricity and caused travel chaos as flights and rail services were hit by gale-force winds and flooding. Three people were killed in the Eden District municipality, an area popular with tourists east of Cape Town, while four others died in a fire sparked by lightning, said James Brent-Styan, spokesman for the Western Cape regional government. One other person was killed when a building collapsed.
(Financial Times 06/07/17)
South Africa plunged into its second recession in eight years in the first three months of the year, even before a political crisis in the ruling African National Congress triggered rating cuts to junk status. On an annualised basis Africa's most industrialised economy contracted 0.7 per cent in the first quarter after a 0.3 per cent drop at the end of 2016, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. The announcement confounded most economists' expectations for growth of about 1 per cent. The two consecutive quarters of decline mean that South Africa had already begun its first recession since 2009 when President Jacob Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan, his finance minister, shaking fragile investor confidence and threatening to splinter the ANC. The...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year as all bar two industries shrank. Gross domestic product receded an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. There was only one forecast for a contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since records started more than a century earlier, political...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
South Africa has entered recession for the first time in eight years, data showed on Tuesday, piling pressure on a government facing corruption allegations and credit downgrades. Data from Statistics South Africa showed the first quarter contraction was led by weak manufacturing and trade, suggesting high unemployment and stagnant wages were dragging down South Africa's long-resilient consumer sector, analysts said. Political instability, high unemployment and credit ratings downgrades have dented business and consumer confidence in South Africa and the rand ZAR=D3 extended its losses against the dollar, while government bonds also weakened ZAR186=. South Africa's economy contracted by 0.7 percent in the first three months of 2017 after shrinking by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, lagging...
(AL Jazeera 06/07/17)
South Africa has been experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Since the 1990s, the country has lost a third of its farms due to water scarcity. As a result, farmers have had to turn to a hi-tech solution to help cope with dwindling water supplies and harsher environments. We speak with Professor Jill Farrant, a professor at the University of Cape Town who has been trying to unlock the secret behind so-called resurrection plants which can survive long periods without water. Professor Farrant believes they may hold the answer to crops surviving long periods without water. "This type of crop will start off well if there's lots of rain. It will continue well if there's lots of rain. But...
(Daily Maverick 06/07/17)
There are many things that are offensive about the conduct of the Gupta family. Their sense of entitlement to South Africa’s resources and disdain for the country’s people are perhaps most infuriating. The deluge of information being released into the public domain about their dodgy business practices and manipulation of political leaders and government officials might create a sense of powerlessness among ordinary citizens. But there should never be hopeless acceptance of the Guptas’ corrupt and immoral practices. Neither should South Africans turn a blind eye towards their racism and exploitation of race dynamics in the country. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY. The Gupta wedding jamboree at Sun City in May 2013 was when South Africa first got to see the family’s...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(AFP (eng) 06/06/17)
South Africa's economy contracted in the first quarter of this year, pushing the continent's largest economy into its first recession since 2009, the official statistics agency reported Tuesday. "The South African economy moved into recession with the reported decrease of 0.7 percent in GDP (gross domestic product) during the first quarter of 2017, following a 0.3 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2016," said Stats SA. The biggest contributor to the negative GDP growth were the trade, catering and accommodation industry, which shrank by 5.9 percent and accounted for -0.8 of a percentage point to GDP growth. The manufacturing sector decreased by 3.7 percent as unemployment climbed to a record 27.7 percent, the highest joblessessness rate in 14 years...
(Bloomberg 06/06/17)
South Africa’s economy fell into a recession for the first time since 2009 after it contracted for a second straight quarter in the first three months of the year. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.7 percent in the first quarter from a contraction of 0.3 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 19 economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for 1 percent expansion. One economist forecast the contraction. While rains are helping Africa’s most-industrialized economy recover from a 2015 drought that was the worst since
(Myjoyonline 06/06/17)
Trade from Ghana to South Africa is currently pegged at around $7.4 million – a significant drop from three to four years ago when it was quoted in the billions. Both countries are now seeking to close the gap and forge closer trade ties. “We need to go back and understand why suddenly there has been a significant drop,” said the Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Yoofi Grant. Mr Grant was part of a 31-member business delegation from Ghana which embarked on a 7-day trade and investment promotion mission organised by the Ghana South Africa Business Chamber in collaboration with the South Africa High Commission in Ghana. The Mission to selected provinces, including Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Western...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South African information technology firm Datatec Ltd (DTCJ.J) said on Tuesday it will sell its Westcon-Comstor Americas business to Synnex Corp (SNX.N) for up to $800 million, sending its shares up 25 percent. Westcon-Comstor, a distributor of technology and services for network security and data centers mostly in the United States, accounts for more than a third of Datatec's sales and a quarter of profit. "The transaction provides a unique opportunity for Datatec to partner with a leading distribution business in North America and benefit from its significant scale," Datatec said in a statement. U.S.-based Synnex will buy Westcon-Comstar's North American and Latin American businesses for $500 million in Synnex shares, $130 million in cash and a further $200 million...
(Financial Times 06/06/17)
The South African economy has officially entered recession, after a much worse than expected first quarter saw economic output contract by 0.7 per cent, in contrast to expectations of decent growth. The rand weakened immediately after the news, and was off 1.16 per cent against the dollar at publication time. South Africa had already been struggling to address sluggish growth even before recent political upheaval – namely the surprise sacking of its respected finance minister – rocked the country’s financial markets earlier this year. However, economists had expected it to avoid entering recession – officially defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction – with consensus forecasts predicting quarterly expansion of 1 per cent. The country’s mining and quarrying industry enjoyed...
(Voice of America 06/06/17)
South Africa's anti-graft watchdog will investigate the government's providing of protection services to former African Union (AU) Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, its spokesman said on Sunday. Dlamini-Zuma, once married to President Jacob Zuma and seen as a front-runner to succeed him, in March concluded her five-year tenure as AU Commission chairwoman and has made several public appearances in South Africa since. An investigation into Dlamini-Zuma, seen as Zuma's preferred candidate by political analysts, is bad news for the scandal-plagued president who survived a no-confidence vote by his own party's highest body last week. The Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party, in April complained that Dlamini-Zuma is enjoying protection services afforded to visiting heads of state or elected representatives, while...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/06/17)
South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi said on Tuesday he was dismayed by a media report alleging he improperly benefited from tenders during his time as chairman of the state-owned rail services company. Allegations of government corruption have escalated this week after local media began reporting on more than 100,000 leaked emails they say show inappropriate interference in the issuing of lucrative tenders. "The Deputy Minister would like to once again reiterate and place it on the record that he has never used his position ... to influence procurement decisions in favor of any company associated with him or his family," Buthelezi's office said in a statement. (Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)
(The Associated Press 06/06/17)
In 2016, 33 lions freed from circuses in Peru and Colombia were transported to South Africa to live out their days in a wildlife refuge. Last week, poachers broke into the sanctuary, killing two of the big cats. The killing of the male lions named José and Liso occurred at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, which had portrayed the lion airlift as a compassionate gesture that alleviated the suffering of animals held in cages and subjected to beatings and other mistreatment. The incursion highlighted how brazen poachers can infiltrate places like Emoya, which said it has 24-hour security and armed patrols and has taken additional measures to protect its property in Vaalwater, in northern South Africa. Forensic experts have visited...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas each captured their 200 metre races on the second day of a track and field event in Boston on Sunday. The 24-year-old Van Niekerk, who is the reigning World and Olympic champion in the 400m, clocked a winning time of 19.84 on a temporary built track to beat runnerup BeeJay Lee (20.17) at the Boston Boost Games. Because the competition was run on a straight line instead of the traditional curved track and field surface the time will not be listed in 2017 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) records. "I still have a lot of work ahead of me," said Van Niekerk, of Cape Town, who will run...
(AFP (eng) 06/03/17)
South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, on Saturday suspended former leader Helen Zille over Twitter messages in which she said colonialism had brought benefits to the country. The DA, which won 22 percent of the vote in the last general election, hopes to make major gains in the 2019 election but it has struggled to shed its image as a "white" party. Zille, who is the current premier of Western Cape province, unleashed fierce criticism from her own party and opponents. South Africa remains deeply divided more than 20 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, as stark racial inequality leaves millions of black people with poor housing, education and job opportunities. Mmusi Maimane, the DA's first...

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