| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the gloves off in the contest to become the nation’s next leader, delivering a scathing speech criticizing “the rot” and widespread patronage plaguing the ruling African National Congress. Ramaphosa stopped short of openly declaring his candidacy to succeed President Jacob Zuma, 75, in a speech on Sunday, but his address left no doubt that his campaign is now firmly under way. He made several thinly veiled attacks on Zuma, who’s indicated that he’s backing his ex-wife and mother of four of his children, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top post. Dlamini-Zuma, who’s spent the past few weeks traversing the country drumming up support while guarded
(Bloomberg 04/22/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he had “constructive” talks with Moody’s Investors Service in an attempt to tackle the credit rating agency’s concerns about fiscal policy after a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of his predecessor. Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade after the firing of Pravin Gordhan last month raised questions about the country’s political stability and whether the government was committed to fiscal discipline. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. have already cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk. Gigaba, speaking in an interview in Washington on Friday, said the government is working to restore the investment-grade rating, which would help bolster investor confidence and lower borrowing costs. The downgrade...
(AL Jazeera 04/20/17)
The ANC has lost the moral high ground that it used to have after the fall of the apartheid regime. The African National Congress of today is a political organisation as well as the leading force in government. The organisation, the government and the state as a whole are in the midst of multiple crises covering broad areas of economic, social and political life. Gone are the days when the ANC represented hope for a better life, cherished by many,...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
South Africa’s inflation rate fell to a six-month low in March after food-price increases slowed. Consumer inflation eased to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in February, Statistics South Africa said in a report released Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 6.3 percent. Prices climbed 0.6 percent in the month. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged since last March after raising it by 200 basis points to 7 percent over two years to bring price growth back to within its target band of 3 percent to 6 percent.
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The World Bank cut its growth projection for sub-Saharan Africa this year because of weak expansion in the region’s three biggest economies. The area’s gross domestic product will expand 2.6 percent in 2017, the bank said in an emailed copy of its Africa Pulse report Wednesday. That compares with a January projection of 2.9 percent and matches the International Monetary Fund’s prediction released this week. “The region’s three largest economies -- Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa -- are projected to...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Just as things were starting to look up for South African banks with economic growth and lending poised to rebound, President Jacob Zuma struck. The fallout from a midnight cabinet purge by Zuma on March 31 threatens to stall debt sales by financial-services companies, which had risen to a record on a quarterly basis in the first three months of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “In this time of uncertainty, growth is going to be constrained and...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
An adviser to South Africa’s new finance minister advocated the state takeover of banks, mines and insurance companies in a newspaper editorial, two weeks after President Jacob Zuma’s ouster of Pravin Gordhan shocked investors and led to a debt downgrade. In an opinion piece titled “Our chance to complete the revolution,” published in South Africa’s Sunday Times, Christopher Malikane, an economics professor at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, also proposed the establishment of a state bank that would combine all...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Sibanye Gold Ltd. plans to raise $1 billion from shareholders and a further $1 billion in debt, most likely bonds, to pay for the acquisition of Colorado-based Stillwater Mining Co. The funds will be raised by the middle of this year and will help repay a $2.65 billion bridge loan from a group of banks, Westonaria, South Africa-based Sibanye said in a statement Tuesday. The remainder of the loan will be repaid through a combination of sources such as commodity-streaming...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
South African equity trading volumes are projected to fall by half on Friday as protesters amass across the country to demand the removal of President Jacob Zuma following a cabinet purge that resulted in the country’s credit rating being downgraded to junk. “It’s quiet,” Michael Porter, a trader at Unum Capital in Johannesburg, said by phone on Friday. “I don’t know if anybody’s out marching, or whatever they’re doing, but it’s definitely quiet.” Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as...
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in South Africa to demand that President Jacob Zuma resign after he fired the finance minister and reshuffled the cabinet. Marchers chanting “Zuma must go” in Pretoria, the capital, walked to the Union Buildings, the official seat of government, while there were sporadic clashes between Zuma supporters and police in Johannesburg, eCNA television reported Friday. Thousands of people faced riot police outside the chained gates of parliament in Cape Town. Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make 19 other changes to his administration on March 31 drew widespread criticism, prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the nation’s credit rating
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
Former South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan won’t resign as a lawmaker for the ruling African National Congress before this month’s debate of a motion of no confidence in the nation’s leader who fired him last week. “Not yet,” Gordhan said Thursday in an interview in Cape Town when asked if he will step down from his post in the National Assembly as three other former members of President Jacob Zuma’s executive have done. “See you on the 18th” of...
(Bloomberg 04/07/17)
Three former members of South African President Jacob Zuma’s administration resigned as lawmakers for the ruling African National Congress before this month’s debate of a motion of no confidence in the nation’s leader. Former Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who was the energy minister, and ex-Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas resigned as members of parliament, effective March 31, the National Assembly said in emailed statements. Zuma fired Peters, Joemat-Pettersson and Jonas in a cabinet reshuffle announced shortly after midnight...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
Recent political turmoil in South Africa has come at a cost, with ratings agency S&P Global saying a controversial Cabinet reshuffle and growing pressure on the president to resign have lowered the country's sovereign credit rating to “junk” status. Economists predict that will result in higher interest rates and higher prices on imported goods. It could, however, also give the South African leaders the opportunity to finally carry out their promise of radically transforming the economy away from minority ownership...
(AL Jazeera 04/05/17)
South Africa's largest trade union has joined calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down. While the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have vigorously defended Zuma in the past, they now say they have lost confidence in him after his dismissal of Pravin Gordhan, the finance minister. The sacking in the early hours of Friday has had serious consequences for the country's economy and deepened the rift within the ruling African National Congress (ANC). "The time has arrived...
(Bloomberg 04/05/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma survived calls to resign by members of the ruling party following his decision to fire his finance minister and stack the cabinet with loyalists, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The rand reversed earlier gains. At a Tuesday meeting in Johannesburg of the ANC’s National Working Committee, Zuma rejected accusations that he hadn’t consulted adequately before a cabinet reshuffle that included the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and received some support...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Bloomberg 04/04/17)
The head of South Africa’s Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile, has asked to leave his post at the end of this month, a year before his contract runs out, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Fuzile, 51, informed former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of his plans to leave a day before Gordhan was fired on March 31, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because no announcement has been made yet. He’s been in the post...
(Voice of America 04/04/17)
Last week's court ruling allowing home use of marijuana has sent South Africa buzzing about the possibility that cannabis will now be widely legal in the Rainbow Nation. To which pro-marijuana activist Julian Stobbs says: Chill. Friday’s ruling from the Western Cape province High Court does apply across the nation, but the decision is really more about privacy than it is about pot. The ruling struck down part of an old law that prohibits private and personal use of marijuana...

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