Thursday 29 June 2017
(Bloomberg 06/28/17)
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. may cut about 8,500 jobs in South Africa and halt some unprofitable operations as the world’s third-largest gold producer pursues a turnaround in its home country. AngloGold intends to place its Kopanang mine and the Savuka section of the TauTona mine on care and maintenance, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Wednesday. AngloGold is taking the steps “to ensure the viability of our remaining operations,” spokesman Stewart Bailey said by phone. AngloGold’s South African mines made their first loss since 2012 in the first quarter of this year, as costs surged 44 percent and output slid. The company said in May it was reviewing operations in the country, where it employs...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/24/17)
The South African parliament is planning to challenge in court an anti-graft watchdog's recommendation of constitutional changes to the mandate of the central bank, it said on Friday, highlighting worsening divisions between state institutions. Divisions have also surfaced within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since President Jacob Zuma sacked his finance minister in March and are likely to keep emerging until the party elects a new leader in December. The central bank and Barclays...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
South Africa reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, agricultural industry body group AgriSA said on Friday. Poultry producer Astral confirmed that the H5N8 bird flu strain was found on its Villiers farm on the outskirts of the Free State province, it said in a statement. The company said the farm had been quarantined and the site affected would be depleted of all birds. "Astral assures all stakeholders that everything...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(RFI(EN) 06/19/17)
A court in South Africa this week announced that there would have to be a trial to decide who actually owns a shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara that's been stopped and held in a South African port. Western Sahara's Polisario Front movement stopped the ship last month (May) with a legal complaint, saying the phosphate had been taken from land that Morocco occupies illegally. Read at more: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170617-south-africa-trial-decide-fate-western-...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
War crimes judges will rule next month on whether South Africa flouted international law when it failed to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015, wanted on charges of genocide in Darfur. The International Criminal Court "convenes a public hearing on 6 July... for the delivery of its decision," the court said in a statement Friday. The tribunal based in The Hague "invites representatives of South Africa and the prosecutor to attend," it added. Pretoria, at an unprecedented hearing in April, disputed accusations by ICC prosecutors that...
(Voice of America 06/08/17)
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has been hurt by a new wave of corruption allegations targeting President Jacob Zuma, with the top party brass saying Wednesday that the end may be nearing for the increasingly unpopular leader. “We’ve got a brand to protect as a current leadership as the next leadership will have the same responsibility," party spokesman Zizi Kodwa told journalists. "The more the allegation of corruption is repeated, about any member of the ANC, it damages the...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
A graft scandal enveloping South African President Jacob Zuma’s administration has laid bare the chaos swirling around the nation’s law-enforcement agencies and their vulnerability to political manipulation. Local investigative reporters have published a series of reports over the past two weeks that Zuma, 75, allowed members of the wealthy Gupta family to unduly influence government appointments and contracts -- known in South Africa as “state capture.” The alleged actions coincided with changes at the heads of the police force, its...
(Bloomberg 06/08/17)
South Africa named Dondo Mogajane as the director-general in the National Treasury, appointing an official from within the department’s ranks two months after President Jacob Zuma replaced a respected finance minister and his deputy. Mogajane, who has been acting in the position since May 16 after Lungisa Fuzile left, will take up the position immediately, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told reporters in Cape Town Thursday after a cabinet meeting. Fuzile’s resignation sparked concern that all three top finance positions would...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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
(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...
(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...
(Voice of America 06/03/17)
South Africa’s ruling ANC party has called for an investigation into potentially explosive graft allegations against President Jacob Zuma and government officials. Two media outlets say they have obtained tens of thousands of emails and documents showing undue influence by the wealthy Gupta family. President Jacob Zuma finds himself embroiled in yet another corruption scandal. On Thursday, two South African media outlets, the Daily Maverick and Amabhungane, published reports saying they have unearthed over 100,000 emails and documents purporting to show how the rich Gupta family unduly influenced the president
(Financial Times 06/02/17)
South Africa’s government has avoided a second damaging credit rating cut from Fitch, but the ratings agency warned that the recent political upheaval is likely to further weaken the economy. Fitch cut South Africa’s foreign- and local-currency credit ratings to junk status in an unscheduled update in April after the ousting of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. In its regular ratings decision announced today, the agency confirmed the government’s BB+ rating with a stable outlook, suggesting further downgrades are unlikely in the short-term. Fitch said “South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low trend GDP growth, sizeable contingent liabilities and deteriorating governance”, and said the cabinet reshuffle “is likely to undermine governance
(Bloomberg 06/02/17)
South Africa avoided a second downgrade in two months from Fitch Ratings Ltd. as the company left its assessment of the nation’s debt at the highest non-investment grade. The local- and foreign-currency ratings were affirmed at BB+, Fitch said in an emailed statement Thursday. The outlook on both assessments was kept at stable. Fitch and S&P Global Ratings cut their assessments of South Africa’s foreign-currency debt to the highest junk level in early April after a late-night cabinet reshuffle in...
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
Spar Group Ltd. said the firing of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and subsequent credit rating downgrades had caused a “massive loss of confidence” among shoppers already battling weak economic growth. While there has yet to be a “huge impact” on trading at the Durban-based food and liquor retailer, the decision by President Jacob Zuma at the end of March was another barrier to economic growth, Chief Executive Officer Graham O’Connor said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “All...

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