Mbete Must Make Secret Ballot Decision

It is now up to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to decide whether or not to allow a secret ballot in the vote in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. The Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered that Mbete has the constitutional power to prescribe that voting in a motion of no confidence be conducted through a secret ballot.

Source : https://goo.gl/1J7vJe

Govt Debt Now Costs More Than Social Grants

Servicing its debt is now costing the South African government more than the amount it spends on social grants, political analyst Daniel Silke said on Thursday. This growing gap between revenue and expenditure by government means the pressure on government to raise taxes, especially indirect taxes, will become more and more acute. This in turn will put pressure on citizens and raise frustration on ground level, according to Silke.

Irregular Expenditure Balloons

Deviation from supply chain management regulations resulted in the irregular expenditure of municipalities ballooning over 50% to R16.81bn, the auditor general revealed. The auditor general assessed 263 municipalities and 51 municipal entities. On average, 20% of the 263 municipalities was classified as having “robust and strong” financial controls. Eastern Cape, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga were the main contributors to the increase in irregular expenditure. Eastern Cape’s irregular expenditure increased by 60% to R5.6bn, North West increased by 117% to R2.5bn, KwaZulu-Natal increased by 50% to R2.3bn and Mpumalanga increased by 162% to R2.2bn.

Source : https://goo.gl/Mz8RdG

Uber CEO Resigns

Uber has been run by a committee of executives since Kalanick agreed to go on an indefinite leave of absence last week. The leave was intended for him to grieve for his mother and work on becoming a better leader. Uber has also been searching for a COO for months to help Kalanick. Reps for Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment on updates to this plan. Even though Kalanick is no longer CEO, he will likely continue to have a strong influence on the startup he co-founded.

Source :  https://goo.gl/fnJCbk

JSE Warns Gupta Companies Of Suspension

The JSE is considering suspending Gupta-owned Oakbay Energy and Resources because it no longer has an audit committee chairperson, sponsor or transfer secretary, which the stock exchange requires for a company to trade. This was revealed by Oakbay on Thursday in a statement to shareholders, in which it said it “is considering various alternatives available to it”.

Source : https://goo.gl/T5M85k

Indicators : Oil 44.71 – Rand/USD 13.01 – Rand/GBP 16.46 – Rand/EUR 14.54



Mkhwebane Wants Constitution Changed

The Rand yesterday fell to R13 to the US dollar after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane earlier in the day called for the Constitution to be amended so that the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank could be changed. Mkhwebane yesterday released a number of reports, including one on her office’s investigation into the Reserve Bank’s bail-out, to the tune of R1.125billion, of Bankorp, which Absa took over 25 years ago. Mkhwebane has ordered the Special Investigating Unit to recover the funds. At a press conference on the reports, Mkhwebane took aim at the Reserve Bank. She said the Reserve Bank and the government had failed in their constitutional duty by not acting on the matter. She proposed amending the Constitution, to remove a clause  designed to protect the currency.

Source : https://goo.gl/92Qvcg

Reserve Bank Asks Courts To Review Public Protector Findings

The Reserve Bank is set to challenge the public protector’s recommendation on changing its mandate. The Bank said in a statement on Tuesday that the ordered remedial action directing Parliament to change the Constitution to amend the Reserve Bank’s powers, had had an immediate and negative impact on the markets and the exchange rate of the rand.

Source : https://goo.gl/nQ5p6N

Absa Refuses To Pay

Banking group Absa on Tuesday, explained why it believes it does not owe any money to the South African government, as recommended  by the Public Protector. Absa said in a statement on Tuesday that it received the Public Protector’s report on her investigation into the SA Reserve Bank’s assistance to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995. “We are currently studying the report and will consider our legal options including seeking a High Court review. “Absa met all its obligations in respect of the loan provided by the SA Reserve Bank by October 1995. It is our firm position that there is no obligation to pay anything to the SA government,” the bank said.

Source : https://goo.gl/iY6yFw

More Taxi Strikes Planned

The Taxi industry, whose protests last week resulted in many of the streets around Johannesburg and Midrand becoming gridlocked, is planning to embark on a national strike and protests next month. MP Filtane, a spokesperson for Mass Taxi Industry Protest Action Committee, a taxi industry splinter group that last month organised the blockade at Toyota South Africa’s manufacturing plant in Prospecton in Durban in protest at its total exclusion from the industry’s value chain, confirmed yesterday that the industry would be going on strike on July 15.

Source : https://goo.gl/tLVhgM

Rooibos Ltd To Be Prosecuted For Price Fixing

South Africa’s largest rooibos producer Rooibos Limited has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for allegedly abusing its dominance and engaging in uncompetitive behaviour. Historically, rooibos tea processors obtained their supply from farmers through one-year supply agreements. in 2014, Rooibos Limited introduced two exclusionary contracting strategies to lock-in or foreclose the supply of rooibos tea from farmers, starving its competitors of access to a product that only grows in a small geographic region.

Source : https://goo.gl/WeaYar

Barclays And Former CEO Charged With Fraud

British prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Barclays and four former bank executives over investments from Qatar that helped save the bank during the financial crisis. The bank and its former executives have been charged by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation over a June 2008 investment made by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. The executives charged include former CEO John Varley and Roger Jenkins, Barclays’ former head of investment banking in the Middle East. The pair also face a second conspiracy to commit fraud charge over an October 2008 deal with a group of Qatari investors.

Source : https://goo.gl/xk56SF

Indicators : Oil 47.12 – Rand/USD 13.02 – Rand/GBP 16.58 – Rand/EUR 14.52

New Mining Charter Causes A Stir

South African minister of mineral resources Mosebenzi Zwani has announced government’s new position on mine ownership in the country, saying that 30% of all mines need to be black-owned. Zwane said that the new policy was that prospecting rights must also have 50% black control and the Mining Charter will channel a minimum of 1% of mine turnover to local communities.  Zwane has defended the controversial new mining charter, saying that he can’t please everybody – as R50 billion gets wiped from the sector.

Source : https://goo.gl/hy6AT8

Lynne Brown Basically Calls Brian Molefe A Liar

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has filed a scathing affidavit in which she admonishes former Eskom CE Brian Molefe for his urgent bid in the Labour Court to have his removal overturned. Brown is denying the urgency of the matter as Molefe is “very wealthy” and he can “wait in line”, as all other South Africans would have to do. In her affidavit, she stops short of calling Molefe a liar and argues that his reappointment at Eskom has been unlawful to begin with.

Source : https://goo.gl/nYVGfX

Brexit Talks Begin

On Monday, nearly a year after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, it will begin the tricky process of hammering out the details of the divorce. It looks like it’s going to be a messy breakup. Last week’s general election left Prime Minister Theresa May without a majority, and without a clear negotiation plan. May has called for a hard exit fro the EU, which would mean keeping immigrants out of the U.K., stepping away from the European bloc’s trading area and refusing to pay for the separation. But that may be hard to do without political support. If she shifts gears to a “softer” Brexit, the U.K. could ease its immigration stance in exchange for maintaining business ties with Europe — as many British companies would like to do.

Source : https://goo.gl/rJoCqg

Sibanye Fires 1500 Striking Workers

Sibanye Gold has fired around 1500 workers taking part in a wildcat strike at its Cooke mine, it said on Thursday, prompting an angry reaction from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Workers at the mine downed tools over a week ago, angered by a company drive to root out illegal miners which has included the arrest of employees for collusion and taking food down to the illegal miners working underground. Illegal gold mining has plagued South Africa for decades, and Sibanye has vowed it will clear all illegal miners from its shafts by January 2018.

Source : https://goo.gl/YNtTZd

Amazon Buys WholeFoods

Amazon announced Friday that is buying organic grocery chain Whole Foods (WFM) for $13.7 billion in cash. The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday. Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) said Whole Foods stores will continue operating under that name as a separate unit of the company. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will stay on to lead Whole Foods, which will keep its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Source : https://goo.gl/As6e46

Google Faces Record Anti-Trust Fine 

The EU’s powerful anti-trust regulator will decide a historic case against Google in the coming weeks that could see the Internet giant hit with a record fine, according to sources. Led by hard-charging European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Google faces a massive penalty that could reach as much $9bn, or 10% of Google’s total revenue last year.

Source : https://goo.gl/kghi4P

Indicators : JSE 50’831 – Oil 47.19 – Rand/USD 12.78 – Rand/GBP 16.29 – Rand/EUR 14.31

DA And Zille Avoid Collision Course

On Tuesday, Zille apologised unreservedly for her tweets on colonialism as part of the political settlement. According to the deal, Zille keeps her job as premier but steps down from all party structures on both national and provincial government levels. Her public communication should be limited to her role as premier, which ends in 18 months’ time. If she does communicate on party matters, it should go through the correct party channels.

Source : https://goo.gl/A3kmpd

Gigaba Signs FIC Amendment Act

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba signed and gazetted various provisions of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Amendment Act, National Treasury said on Tuesday.
“Commenting on the signing of the Act, Minister Gigaba said it was critical for government to accelerate the implementation of the Act as it demonstrated government’s commitment to the fight against corruption, money laundering and illicit flows. The Minister added that although the signing of the Act was a big step forward, more work still needed to be done,” Treasury said.

Source : https://goo.gl/Dag0LH

Comp Com To Probe Aspen Over Price Fixing

Africa’s biggest generic drug maker Aspen Pharmacare, already under investigation by European authorities over the price of its cancer drugs, is now under similar scrutiny from SA’s Competition Commission. On Tuesday, the commission announced it was investigating Aspen and multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers Roche and Pfizer for suspected excessive pricing of their cancer drugs.

Source : https://goo.gl/bEBs4X

83,000 British Jobs At Risk After Brexit

The European Union is preparing the ground for a raid on one of the crown jewels of British business. The bloc proposed rules on Tuesday that would give it the power to force a large slice of London’s financial services to move out of the city after Brexit, putting at risk an estimated 83,000 jobs. The European Central Bank has long argued that the clearing of such vast quantities of trades should take place inside the group of 19 countries that use the currency. The bank says it needs to monitor what’s happening to ensure the financial stability of the eurozone.

Source : https://goo.gl/7q6Zfu

Uber CEO Takes Forced Leave

Travis Kalanick, the CEO and cofounder of Uber, told staff Tuesday he will take time off in order to grieve for his mother, who recently died in a tragic boating accident. “It’s hard to put a timeline on this — it may be shorter or longer than we might expect,” Kalanick wrote in a company-wide memo. “Tragically losing a loved one has been difficult for me and I need to properly say my goodbyes.” The announcement came moments before Uber held a staff meeting to discuss recommendations from a months-long investigation into Uber’s office culture conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Source : https://goo.gl/Q4DeAj

Brait Shares Taking A Pounding

Brait’s share price fell 4.6% on Tuesday to close on a 52-week low of R62.51, as a substantial reduction in the value of New Look — the UK retailer for which it paid handsomely — caused a plunge in the group’s year-end net asset value. For the year to March, Brait’s net asset value per share slid 42.6% to R78.15. It was hit by rand strength and an 80% year-on-year decline in the value of New Look to R7bn — less than half what it paid for it.

Indicators : JSE 51’775 – Oil 48.40 – Rand/USD 12.76 – Rand/GBP 16.25 – Rand/EUR 14.30


EFF Expose Gigaba For Gupta Citizenship

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba appears to have bent over backwards to ensure the Gupta family were irregularly granted citizenship‚ letters released by the EFF suggest. An immigration expert said on Monday the apparent early granting of citizenship was highly suspicious and the EFF said it would go to court to have the Guptas’ citizenship revoked.

Source : https://goo.gl/e1nr5Z

Ben Ngubane Resigns

Eskom board chairman Ben Ngubane has resigned from his post, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced late on Monday night. “Dr Ngubane formally tendered his resignation, which I accepted,” Brown said in a statement.

Source : https://goo.gl/YHkrb2

Hlaudi Motsoeneng Fired

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been fired after being found guilty of misconduct for comments he made at a media briefing in which he criticised SABC board members and a parliamentary committee that was looking into alleged irregularities at the public broadcaster

Source : https://goo.gl/QAUfmK

Moodys Downgrades Banks And Institutions

South Africa’s banks and insurance companies have been downgraded in keeping with the countries downgrade. Moody’s downgrade of global scale Insurance Financial Strength and related debt ratings of South African insurance groups including related entities is a direct result of the country’s rating. Moody’s considers the banks and insurance groups’ key credit fundamentals (asset quality, capitalisation, profitability and financial flexibility) to be partly correlated with — and thus linked to — the economic and market conditions in South Africa.

Source : https://goo.gl/DasNJz

Trump Loses Another Travel Ban Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded Monday that the president exceeded his authority by suspending nationals from six mostly Muslim countries without showing how letting those people in hurts American interests. Last month, a Richmond, Virginia-based panel of judges ruled that the ban was “steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group.”

Source : https://goo.gl/BXa1kg

Curro Buys AFDA

Curro, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stadio, has acquired 100% of the issued share capital of film school, AFDA. AFDA is a South African registered higher education institution, with 9 accredited programmes (ranging from higher certificates to masters’ degrees) primarily focused on the film, television and live performance industry. It is rated as the number one film school in Africa.

Source : https://goo.gl/ISsTha

MMI And African Bank Team Up

MMI Holdings and African Bank have announced a partnership that will allow each other exclusive rights to sell their products to the combined client base. “The value sharing partnership is based on three business lines, including lending and insurance business ventures. The third venture will involve the provision of transactional banking capabilities to enable the MMI value proposition,” read the statement released on Monday

Source : https://goo.gl/vpxGZg

Indicators : JSE 51’756 – Oil 48.48 – Rand/USD 12.82 – Rand/GBP 16.22 – Rand/EUR 14.34

Cape Fires & Storms Could Cost R4 Billion

Losses caused by Western Cape fires and storms could cost the insurance industry in excess of R3bn to R4bn, outstripping the costs of previous disasters and leading to higher insurance premiums in affected areas. Between 3,000 and 4,000 people have been displaced following fires around Knysna and the death toll from severe weather and fires along the southern coastline had reached at least 12.

Source: https://goo.gl/emxgDp

More Ratings Downgrades Expected

The rand survived the latest rating agency announcement, which saw Moody’s downgrade both the local and foreign currency rating to Baa3 and maintaining a negative outlook. Both Moody’s and S&P are threatening to take the local credit rating below investment grade and it would need each of them to act once to see South Africa excluded from major global bond indices and generate large capital flight.

Source: https://goo.gl/df6Uk9

Strike Threat In Metals Industry

In a scathing statement on Friday, Numsa said employers had failed to meet its demand for a double digit wage increase during the second day of wage talks held on Thursday. “Based on this proposal, we are convinced that employers are indeed provoking a deadlock in order to justify a strike. Employers clearly do not want industrial peace in the engineering sector, they want it to be unstable,” Numsa said. Employers proposed a 5.3% wage increase across the board for the first year of the agreement, based on the minimum rate, and not the actual rate that workers earned. However, Numsa has demanded a 15% wage increase across the board, based on the actual rate that a worker is earning, and not on the minimum rate.

Source: https://goo.gl/o6S0YS

Times Media Group Renamed Tiso Blackstar Group

The Times Media group has announced its name change to the Tiso Blackstar Group. “Today, as a broad-based multi-platform company, Tiso Blackstar Group is equally focused on providing quality content and services to audiences, advertisers, and its customer base across Africa and the world,” stated the company.

Source: https://goo.gl/S6ghZe

Jaguar Invests In Lyft And Self Driving Cars

Jaguar Land Rover said it’s working with Lyft on autonomous-driving technology and will offer vehicles for rent to the San Francisco-based startup’s drivers. The automaker, which is a subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd., also disclosed an investment of $25 million in Lyft as part of a funding round that closed in April, valuing the business at $7.5 billion

Source: https://goo.gl/jZ422j

Denel Could Be Transferred To Dept Of Public Enterprises

Pre-Cabinet level discussions are under way within the government about transferring State-owned defence industrial group Denel from the aegis of the Department of Public Works to that of the Department of Defence (DoD). This was stated by Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube at a function marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) in Pretoria on Thursday

Source: https://goo.gl/CIPRu8

Indicators: Oil 48.22 – Rand/USD 12.88 – Rand/GBP 16.39 – Rand/EUR 14.47