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Ramaphosa treads 'softly-softly' in South Africa power play 

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa is caught in an intricate game of political chess as he seeks to stamp his authority on the government while maintaining a semblance of party unity before elections next year. While his finance minister and political ally, Nhlanhla Nene, resigned Tuesday after lying... 

Denel proposes severance packages, salary cuts – union

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 South African State arms firm Denel is holding talks with unions over voluntary severance packages, reduced working hours and salary cuts for some staff as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis, a union official said. The discussions underscore the extent of the financial difficulties... 

Goldman forecasts South African economic rebound in 2019

By: Reuters     3rd October 2018 Goldman Sachs expects South Africa's economy to grow almost 3% next year, helped by President Cyril Ramaphosa's reforms and strong global growth, the bank's sub-Saharan Africa head told Reuters. Colin Coleman's prediction is more optimistic than the view held by economists polled by Reuters last... 

Half of South Africa's stimulus plan to come from spending shift – Nene

By: Reuters     27th September 2018 South Africa's shifting budget priorities will provide roughly half of the R50-billion ($3.5-billion) in stimulus spending it plans to make by the end of its fiscal year in March, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told Reuters. The rest of the fund would come from internal development finance... 

Promise amid the gloom

By: Terence Creamer     21st September 2018 Analogies between the state of South Africa and Bafana Bafana were easy to make after the team’s disappointing draw with Libya in Durban earlier this month. As with the national team, the atmosphere surrounding the country is far from supportive, despite a decidedly improved global economic... 

South African business confidence slips in Q3 – survey

By: Reuters     11th September 2018 South African business confidence fell marginally in the third quarter, a survey showed on Tuesday, after the economy slipped into recession and hopes faded for a revival under President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) business confidence index compiled by the Bureau for Economic... 

South Africa may miss tax take target, says finance minister

By: Reuters     10th September 2018 South Africa's tax take could well be lower than forecast this year, with a downturn in the economy exacerbating problems at the tax revenue service, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Monday. The country entered recession in the second quarter for the first time since 2009. 

Ramaphosa says South Africa to recover from recession soon

By: Reuters     6th September 2018 South Africa will soon recover from recession, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday in his first reaction to news that undermines his effort to revive the economy and attract investment after a decade of stagnation. Ramaphosa staked his reputation on economic revival when he took over in... 

One in three chance of South Africa recession this year

By: Reuters     23rd August 2018 South Africa's economy probably struggled to gain traction in the second quarter after shrinking at the start of 2018, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said there was a one in three chance of recession this year. Around 30 economists polled expect Africa's second-largest economy to... 

Ramaphosa proposes new sovereign wealth fund – party officials

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has proposed setting up a sovereign wealth fund to help boost economic growth, and his ruling African National Congress (ANC) backs the plan, two senior party officials said on Tuesday. Ramaphosa, who replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as ANC leader late last year, is... 

Redefining philanthropy

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     3rd August 2018 Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man – with a net worth of $12.4-billion – is redefining philanthropy in his native Nigeria. But the 61-year-old is doing this in a way that will make his bank account even fatter. Dangote Group, the 30 000-employee multinational industrial conglomerate he founded... 

Ramaphoria index falling 

By: Aubrey Matshiqi     20th July 2018 This month we are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. I suspect that the country will celebrate more the older Mandela than the young hothead of a militant who became a commander in the armed struggle against white minority rule. To me, the commemoration of the centenary of... 

Current account deficit widens in Q1 as exports slump

By: Reuters     21st June 2018 South Africa's current account deficit widened more than expected in the first quarter to register its largest shortfall in two years as the trade balance swung to a deficit after a steep decline in exports, the central bank said on Thursday. Investor sentiment in South Africa picked up after... 

Plan for mining community development levy scrapped

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2018 South Africa’s government has scrapped plans to compel mining companies to contribute 1% of their annual turnover to a new community development agency because it feared the funds could be abused, the nation’s mining minister said. The levy was proposed in a draft of the nation’s new Mining... 

Zuma's presidency was a total disaster – Trevor Manuel

By: News24Wire      17th May 2018 The presidency of Jacob Zuma was a total disaster for South Africa, former finance minister Trevor Manuel said on Wednesday night. "I make no apologies for sharing my view that the presidency of Jacob Zuma was a total disaster for South Africa," said Manuel. Manuel delivered the keynote address... 

Ramaphosa to meet labour ministry after minimum wage protests

By: Reuters     26th April 2018 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday meet officials from the labour ministry to discuss the planned introduction of a national minimum wage, a day after nationwide protests over the policy which he has championed. Several thousand union members marched in Johannesburg, Cape... 

Resistance persists despite declaration of new renewables dawn

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 The world did not stop to allow South Africa to get off. While ‘sunny South Africa’ spent more than two years delaying the introduction of new renewable-energy plants, including 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the rest of the world continued... 

Ramaphosa's plan to attract R1.2tr in investment marks potential new dawn 

By: News24Wire      18th April 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to raise over R1-trillion in new foreign investment has been hailed by economists as the beginning of a “new dawn” for South Africa after years of low growth and policy uncertainty. On Monday, Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will later this year host a major... 

These are my principles, but . . .

By: Riaan de Lange     13th April 2018 My father’s friend is a principled man. In the past, you would have read much into my opening sentence. Only a few days ago, my young son returned from school with a letter. A dreaded letter. In this day and age, any written correspondence received from school on a paper is never a good thing.... 

Eskom considers sale of mortgage business

By: Reuters     12th April 2018 South Africa's state power utility Eskom is sounding out possible buyers for its mortgage business, a tender document showed on Wednesday, in what would be the first major privatisation deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa has made revamping state-owned firms like Eskom a top priority... 

South Africa's growth recovery at risk from lack of policy clarity – SARB

By: Reuters     11th April 2018 South Africa's recent economic growth turnaround is unlikely to last as 2017's boom fades and the outlook for reform remains murky, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Tuesday. The South African economy expanded by a surprising 1% in 2017 as agriculture recovered from a drought the year... 

Tangible results needed to maintain business confidence momentum – Sacci

By: Simone Liedtke     5th April 2018 Although an improved business mood is still present, it has to be augmented by an improvement in the real economy and further focus on better financial conditions, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday, releasing the results of its latest business confidence... 

Roadblocks ahead for South Africa's Ramaphosa after Moody's win

By: Reuters     27th March 2018 South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa will need to call on all his dealmaking skills to overhaul ailing State-owned firms and tackle land reform if he wants to capitalise on Moody's decision not to downgrade the country's debt to junk. Moody's said its decision to keep South Africa's... 

Early days, but some SA firms responding to Zimbabwe’s open-for-business pledge

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     23rd March 2018 Robert Mugabe may no longer be at the helm of Zimbabwe Inc, but the mess he created over his 37-year rule remains – the country’s infrastructure is, for the most part, in a sorry state, its economy is moribund and unemployment has reached ridiculously high levels, with figures as high as 90%... 

What we must undo in post-Zuma era

By: Saliem Fakir     23rd March 2018 During Jacob Zuma’s Presidency, South African had to contend with racial parochialism, State inaptitude and a gloomy economy. Dystopia became the only legacy the former President would bequath the present and future generations. Gramsci once noted: 'The State was only an outer ditch behind which... 

Early days, but some SA firms responding to Zimbabwe’s open-for-business pledge

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     23rd March 2018 Robert Mugabe may no longer be at the helm of Zimbabwe Inc, but the mess he created over his 37-year rule remains – the country’s physical and social infrastructure is, for the most part, in a sorry state, its economy is moribund and unemployment has reached ridiculously high levels, with figures... 

Remembering Julius Nyerere

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     23rd March 2018 It took the threat of impeachment proceedings by his own party to get Jacob Zuma, decidedly the most inept – and venal – President South Africa has ever had, to vacate the Union Buildings on Valentine’s Day. Just under three months earlier, the ruling Zanu-PF party in neighbouring Zimbabwe had... 

Aerosud Aviation warns of tough times for the South African aerospace industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th March 2018 South Africa’s largest private-sector commercial aviation aerostructures manufacturing company, Aerosud Aviation (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aerosud Holdings), warns that the local aerospace industry is going through tough times and is not receiving the kind of support that competitors in other... 

Pro-Zuma group blocks energy deals in blow to Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     13th March 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa was dealt a political blow on Tuesday, after a last-minute legal challenge by a group loyal to ousted leader Jacob Zuma blocked the signing of $4.7-billion in renewable energy deals. The North Gauteng High Court agreed to hold a full hearing on the challenge on March 27... 

VAT hike tests SARB's hawkish stance 

By: Reuters     9th March 2018 After the first VAT hike since apartheid, South African consumers are calling for an interest rate cut but the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has numerous reasons to resist this pressure, chief amongst them a desire to sustain an inflation-busting rally in the rand. Since market-friendly Cyril... 

South Africa's future 'just got a lot more positive', Anglo American CEO says

By: Reuters     7th March 2018 South Africa's future is looking "a lot more positive" since President Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma last month, Anglo American's Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said on Wednesday. Mining companies and South Africa's government have been at loggerheads for years over... 

South Africa's growth forecasts likely to be increased – Nene 

By: Reuters     5th March 2018 South Africa's economic growth forecasts will likely be revised upwards by the time the medium-term budget outlook is announced in October, Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene said on Monday. A rise in business confidence since President Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma last... 

ANC wants to soften impact of higher VAT on poor

By: Reuters     26th February 2018 South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Sunday that it wants to alleviate the impact on the poor of an increase in value-added tax by adding more zero-rated and tax-free items. ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said in televised remarks the party would look at a range of... 

Zuma is, alas, not an aberration

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 Well, Jacob Zuma is no longer President of the Republic of South Africa, following his “recall” (in effect, order to resign) by his political party, the African National Congress (ANC). The raid on the Johannesburg home of his close associates, the Gupta brothers, on the morning of February 14... 

Lifestyle audits on government politicians, public servants set to start - Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      20th February 2018 Tests on whether the lifestyles of politicians and public officials in South Africa match their incomes are set to become the norm, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, starting with himself and members of his cabinet. "If there ever has been anything that many South Africans would like to... 

Ramaphosa calls for new social compact

By: African News Agency      20th February 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday called for national unity and a new social compact to revive the economy and ease the plight of South Africa's poor majority. "One thing that we will unite on is advancing the interests of our people," Ramaphosa said in his reply to the debate on his maiden... 

Business organisations hope for greater policy certainty after Zuma’s resignation

By: Anine Kilian     15th February 2018 Industry bodies throughout South Africa have welcomed Jacob Zuma’s decision to step down as President. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) on Thursday said it applauded Zuma’s remarks where he reaffirmed and pledged his commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law,... 

Ramaphosa formally elected as President

15th February 2018 Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa's new president by the National Assembly on Thursday, a day after the deeply unpopular Jacob Zuma was forced to resign by the ruling party. Ramaphosa, 65, was the sole candidate put forward by the National Assembly and takes up the top post two decades... 

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