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Latest News

Current account deficit narrows to near 6-year low; inflation slows

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 South Africa's current account deficit narrowed more than expected in the fourth quarter of last year to its lowest in nearly six years, helped by a surge in mining exports after a rise in global commodity prices, the central bank said on Wednesday. The rand extended gains against the dollar in... 

Jasco acquires 65% stake in Cross Fire for R52m

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd March 2017 JSE-listed Jasco is acquiring a 65.4% stake in Cross Fire in a R52.3-million deal with Cross Fire management and its Cross Fire founder John Cross. The addition of Cross Fire will bolster Jasco’s existing fire solutions portfolio in the blue-chip corporate market and lift it into the top three... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

Namibian President calls for land expropriation

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Namibia's president said Tuesday that the government is considering radical land expropriation to spur the transfer of property to the country's black majority. Speaking at Namibia's 27th independence celebrations, President Hage Geingob said the government should evoke part of the Constitution... 

Namibian President calls for land expropriation
Photo by Creative Commons
Namibian President Hage Geingob

World Bank to lend Tanzania $2.4bn over three years for infrastructure projects

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 The World Bank will lend Tanzania $2.4-billion over the next three years to finance infrastructure projects, the bank's president Jim Yong Kim said on Monday. Tanzania is seeking financing for infrastructure projects as part of its plans to transforming the country into a regional transport and... 

UJ, Singapore university strengthen research ties, to improve local maths, science education

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), which was established through a partnership with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), has renewed its partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) through the signing of a second memorandum of understanding (MoU) on... 

Sibanye’s Stillwater deal to come under April 25 spotlight

By: Martin Creamer     20th March 2017 The proposed acquisition by Sibanye of Stillwater Mining will come under the spotlight on April 25, when shareholders will be asked to consider resolutions to give effect to the transaction, with or without amendment. The Johannesburg- and New York Stock Exchange-listed Sibanye, headed by CEO... 

Sibanye’s Stillwater deal to come under April 25 spotlight
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman

Sars systems to be investigated by Tax Ombud

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Monday confirmed that it has been informed that the Office of the Tax Ombud has been given permission to investigate Sars’s systems. Sars said in a statement on Monday that it fully supported the investigation. “Given the recent narrative about the... 

Municipal entity to manage Cape Town Stadium

By: African News Agency      20th March 2017 The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee approved a recommendation to council on Monday, that a municipal entity be established to manage and operate the Cape Town stadium on behalf of the city. “Our goal is to minimise the financial losses of the Cape Town Stadium and to maximise the potential... 

G20’s Compact with Africa launched with widespread support

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2017 Clear support emerged last week from Group of 20 (G20) members’ Finance Ministers and central bank governors for the broadening of international economic and financial cooperation with African countries to “foster sustainable and inclusive growth” in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063. At... 

G20’s Compact with Africa launched with widespread support
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan attended the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Germany last week

Outa calls on Human Rights Commission to investigate drinking water challenges

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission, calling for an investigation into maladministration within the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), which threatens drinking water supply and quality in South Africa. According to... 

ArcelorMittal consortium submits top bid for Italian steel plant

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 ArcelorMittal, the world's top steelmaker, and Italian processor Marcegaglia have offered €1.6-billion ($1.72-billion) to buy Italy's troubled Ilva steel plant, outbidding a rival consortium, three sources said on Friday. The rival group that includes India's JSW Steel bid €1.2-billion for the... 

Algerian State energy firm Sonatrach replaces CEO

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach has replaced CE Amine Mazouzi after less than two years in the job, naming Abdelmoumen Ould Kadour to replace him, the energy ministry said on Monday. A statement from the ministry gave no reason for the change. Ould Kadour is an engineer who graduated from... 

Sunrise Energy secures two international deals for LPG terminal

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th March 2017 Sunrise Energy has secured two commercial contracts with international traders and their South African joint venture partners for the sourcing and importation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through its new import and storage facility in the Western Cape. The R1.2-billion open-access Sunrise... 

Majuba coal silo recovery completed

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The construction of a permanent coal-handling solution for State-owned Eskom’s Majuba power station has been completed, including the rebuilding of Silo 20, the reinforcement of silos 10 and 30, as well as the implementation of a lift shaft, two piers and a coal conveyor system.   “We commend the... 

Majuba coal silo recovery completed
The collapsed Silo 20

South Africa needs a water-conscious, water-smart approach to mitigating looming water deficit 

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2017 A new report ‘Scenarios for the future of water South Africa’ has revealed how the drought-stricken, water-scarce country needs to transition towards a water-conscious, water smart economy with stronger water governance. In the report unpacking various scenarios, the World Wide Fund for Nature... 

JRA to upgrade Roodepoort intersection

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has embarked on a R4.3-million upgrade of the Jim Fouche road and Wilhelmina avenue intersection in Constantia Kloof, Roodepoort, to ease congestion and improve motorist safety. The project will be completed in September. 

Metrorail cancels trains in Soweto due to protest

By: African News Agency      20th March 2017 Metrorail train services operating in Soweto between New Canada, Dube and Mzimhlophe were on Monday morning suspended Monday morning during peak hours because of a service delivery protest. It was not immediately clear what the protesters were demanding, but the unrest began in the early hours of... 

Climate change could have devastating effect on citrus crops

By: Anine Kilian     17th March 2017 Climate change could have a drastic effect on South Africa’s citrus crops, as pests, such as the Asian citrus psyllid, which causes the citrus greening disease, emerge in Africa. Speaking at the Agricultural Research Symposium 2017 in Centurion, on Friday, Agricultural Research Council (ARC)... 

DBSA secures $100m AFD loan facility to support continental activity

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has secured a $100-million loan facility from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), earmarked for energy, water, transport and information and communication technology infrastructure across Africa. The DBSA aims to continue to advance... 

Vedanta already turning Anglo’s discarded zinc assets to account 

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2017 Diversified mining company Vedanta, which is being associated with the acquisition of 13% of the equity of Anglo American by Volcan Investments because of the link both these entities have with Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, has done well with the South African assets it acquired from Anglo... 

Vedanta already turning Anglo’s discarded zinc assets to account
Flashback video: Vedanta's Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo updates Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on the Gamsberg zinc project. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2017 The South African government has officially launched a new investment facilitation service, dubbed InvestSA, which it claims will dramatically reduce red tape for foreign and domestic businesses seeking to pursue greenfield or brownfield projects in the country. The service, which has both... 

 South Africa asks World Bank to review ease-of-doing-business position in light of InvestSA initiative
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies (centre), with Lionel October (left) and Yunus Hoosen at the launch of the InvestSA one-stop shop in Pretoria

DAFF to assist agricultural sector increase production  

By: Anine Kilian     17th March 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) plans to boost agricultural production, which was severely affected by the drought in recent years. Addressing delegates at the Agricultural Research Symposium 2017 in Centurion, Gauteng, on Friday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries... 

Evowood’s Estcourt mill dismisses 434 workers, remains closed after protracted strike action

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 Some 434 Estcourt mill workers have been dismissed by hardboard manufacturer Evowood following protracted illegal strike action and a subsequent production stoppage costing the company more than R2-million a day. The workers were dismissed following a disciplinary process and a February 27 Labour... 

Dawn welcomes new CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 JSE-listed Distribution and Warehousing Network (Dawn) has appointed Edwin Hewitt CEO, effective April 1, to succeed Stephen Connelly, who is taking up the position of executive deputy chairperson. Hewitt was appointed chief restructuring officer at Dawn in February, working with a major bank,... 

Tata Motors signs MoU with VW, Skoda to develop affordable vehicles

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2017 India’s Tata Motors has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Volkswagen Group and its Skoda division, aimed at possible joint product development. The agreement has been signed by Tata Motors CEO Günter Butschek, Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller and Skoda Auto... 

Tata Motors signs MoU with VW, Skoda to develop affordable vehicles
Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier, Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller and Tata Motors CEO Günter Butschek

Commission welcomes Tribunal’s settlement agreement confirmation for Blinkwater

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Tribunal has confirmed a R10.1-million price-fixing settlement agreement between Mpumalanga-based maize milling firm Blinkwater Mills and the Competition Commission, to be paid in three instalments within a year. Blinkwater has agreed to pay the fine, representing 5% of its 2007... 

Transnet mourns passing of board member

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso on Friday said the passing of human rights lawyer and Transnet board member Peter Williams was a “double blow to our nation”, noting that he still had many years of wisdom and guidance to bestow upon the country. Williams, 49, passed away on Wednesday after... 

Letsoalo denied request to join PRASA board's case

By: News24Wire      17th March 2017 Former PRASA group CEO Collins Letsoalo's request to join the urgent court case by PRASA's former board members was denied by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday. Judge Peter Mabuse said he was not persuaded by Letsoalo's case and refused his application. 

Nigerian court overturns seizure of oilfield from Shell and Eni

By: Reuters     17th March 2017 A Nigerian court on Friday overturned a request by Nigeria's financial crimes agency to seize an oilfield from Royal Dutch Shell and Eni. In January, a court had ordered the seizure of the OPL 245 oil block and transfer of operations to the federal government on the request of the Economic and... 

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 To further support its investment in the extension and reinforcement of its power transmission grid, State-owned Eskom has signed a R6-billion multi-tranche framework agreement with the French Agency for Development (AFD). “This multi-tranche loan facility will contribute towards Eskom plans to... 

AFD, Eskom sign R6bn financing deal

Eskom connects a further 35 000 Eastern Cape households to grid

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 During the 11 months to February, State-owned electricity provider Eskom has connected 35 000 more Eastern Cape households, in rural areas, to its grid. “We have intensified our implementation programme throughout the country and we intend achieving an additional 15 000 new connections in the... 

Commission gets go-ahead to review evidence in margarine manufacturers cartel case

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2017 The Competition Commission on Friday welcomed a High Court ruling in its favour to review evidence seized during an investigation into alleged cartel activity by five manufacturers of refined edible cooking oils, baking fats and margarine in South Africa. Early in March, DH Brothers Industries,... 

Somali pirates release hostages, warn of further attacks

By: African News Agency      17th March 2017 The first hijacking off Somalia’s coast in five years has concluded with eight crew members of a Sri Lankan oil tanker released without the payment of a ransom, three days after they were kidnapped. Despite this incident ending relatively successfully locals from the country’s fishing community... 

Innovative Kruger Park surveillance technology stops poachers in their tracks

By: News24Wire      17th March 2017 Two weeks after its introduction in January, the Kruger National Park's wide range surveillance technology, the Meerkat, managed to stop five out of nine detected rhino poaching incidents. "It's almost like the angel on your shoulder that can see where you cannot see and that makes it a lot safer... 

China's Sinopec nears deal to buy Chevron's South African oil assets – sources

By: Reuters     17th March 2017 China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is nearing an agreement to buy a majority stake in Chevron Corp's South African assets, which are estimated at $1-billion, two people familiar with the transaction said. The sources said that Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, was the last bidder... 

Cova Advisory partners with UK business to broaden horizons

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 South African investment consultancy Cova Advisory is partnering with European business performance consultant Ayming’s UK office to expand its global footprint. “Cova services our clients in South Africa, and Ayming services [clients in] the UK, European and North American markets. The objective... 

South Africa's Numsa calls for national strike over plant closures

By: Reuters     17th March 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), which claims to have 350 000 members, said on Friday it was calling for a national strike over State-run power utility Eskom's decision to shut down several coal-fired power stations. "Numsa is gearing up for the mother of all strikes in... 

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