R600m Fund Payout To Ex-mineworkers

The Mines 1970 Unclaimed Benefits Preservation Pension and Provident Funds want to distribute the entire fund – R600 million – to ex-mineworkers in South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana and Zimbabwe by 2020. Mineral Resources Deputy Minister, Godfrey Oliphant said last year that there was about R30 billion in unclaimed benefits. About damn time!

Starbucks To Hire 10000 Refugees In Response To Trump Ban

Starbucks O Howard Schultz has said that the company plan to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries. The hiring efforts announced would start in the United States by initially focussing on individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where the military has asked for such support.

Cape Town Dam Levels Down To 29%

The City of Cape Town says dam levels are effectively sitting at 29% according to their spokesperson. The municipality has again urged residents to cut their consumption and will be introducing heightened water restrictions from the 1st of Feb. Water consumption is still above the collective water usage target of 800 million litres per day and the City will be prosecuting those who don’t heed warnings.

Toyota No Longer Worlds Highest Car Selling Brand

Toyota’s global sales, including its Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Company units, rose 0.2% to 10.2 million vehicles in 2016, the Japanese automaker said on Monday. That fell short of Volkswagen’s record 10.3 million cars, trucks and buses, a 3.8% gain. Toyota’s profit was still more than double Volkswagen’s in the six months through September.

Harmony Expects 225% Increase In Earnings

Harmony Gold Mining Company said on Monday it expected an increase of up to 255 percent in headline earnings per share for the six months to the end of December. The company pointed to an increase in the average gold spot price, the recognition of a gain on the Hidden Valley acquisition, as well as gains on gold and currency hedges as contributers to their stellar performance.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 54.96 – Rand/USD 13.52 – Rand/GBP 16.87 – Rand/EUR 14.48

Patricia DeLille Quits As D.A WC Leader

In her resignation letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane‚ she says she believes she has achieved the goals she set as provincial leader. De Lille says she wants to focus on her goals as Cape Town mayor — implementing a transformation plan to “modernise and reform the government to improve service delivery”. Western Cape DA deputy leader Bonginkosi Madikizela will act as leader until the next meeting of the DA Western Cape provincial council. Meanwhile De Lille has given final approval for the development of a R1bn, multi-use development in Cape Town’s CBD – between Riebeeck Square on Buitengracht and the historic Bo-Kaap neighbourhood.

Brian Molefe To replace Pravin Gordhan?

The Sunday Times has reported that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe could become a Member of Parliament. There are rumours that he would be named Minister of Finance in a rumoured cabinet reshuffle. Molefe resigned from Eskom in November 2016 after being fingered by a report by the Public Protector.

Damning Eskom Report Kept Hidden

A multi-million rand investigation into wrongdoing at Eskom has allegedly been kept under lock and key, with fears of a cover-up now doing the rounds. US law firm Denton was commissioned in 2015 to investigate a variety of problems at Eskom, including reasons for loadshedding and delays in the power utility’s infrastructure build program. Business Day said there were suspicions that people fingered in the report were being protected as Brown has said, “there are people’s names there and we don’t really want to do that.”

Petrol Price To Increase By 29 Cents

From Wednesday, motorists will have to fork out 29 cents more per litre for petrol, while the price of diesel will increase by 21 cents per litre. Illuminating paraffin will set you back 22 cents more.

Trump Muslim Ban Causes Chaos

The dollar has dropped to its lowest level in almost two months after Trump announced that citizens from seven countries will be banned from entering the U.S. Meanwhile many people were turned away at airports throughout the country and massive protests were held as people vented their anger this weekend. Iran has banned visas for all Americans and some states in America have flat our refused to abide by the directives. Its a nasty situation.

Nehawu Members on Strike At Unisa

The National Health Education & Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) says its members at Unisa are expected to continue with a strike today. Nehawu says after reducing its wage demand to a 10% increase, management only revised their offer up to 6%. The union initially demanded a 14 % salary hike across the board, while management was offering only 4.5%.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 55.14 – Rand/USD 13.58 – Rand/GBP 17.02 –Rand/EUR 14.56

R42m License Dept Fraud Uncovered

The Gauteng government has concluded a wide-ranging investigation into financial irregularities at 34 provincial licensing centres, identifying a syndicate that could involve hundreds of officials who have been accepting bribes in exchange for clearing unpaid fines. 15 Officials have been arrested, 19 others are due to be suspended while an estimated 394 other officials could be charged in a syndicate that is said to have cost the fiscus R42 million. I suspect that number is much higher.

African Bank To List On JSE Next Week

African Bank Investments Limited say it will, under a new name, resume trading again on the JSE at the beginning of next month after the JSE approved the lifting of the suspension of trading of its shares. The company will trade as African Phoenix Investments Limited (Apil), with effect from February 1.

FNB To Reimburse Safety Deposit Box Owners

FNB confirmed on yesterday that it was in the process of reimbursing customers impacted by loss of valuables at its branches. The bank experienced break-ins and robberies at its Randburg, Parktown and Sunnypark branches in Gauteng, resulting in thousands of safety deposit boxes containing millions of rand worth of valuables being stolen. The bank will reimburse customers for reasonable costs incurred for replacement of marriage certificates, identity documents, birth certificates and passports.

Trump Wants 20% Tax On Mexican Imports

The Trump administration floated the idea of using a 20% tax on goods imported from Mexico to pay for the wall.The U.S imported $303 billion from Mexico in 2015 and 20% of that is about $60 billion, more than enough to pay for President Trump’s wall on the border. Meanwhile the Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled a planned trip to the US after Trump pushed on with plans to build his wall. Experts have warned that although this will impact US citizens badly and kill jobs.

ANCYL Members Storm Absa Branch, Demand Payback Of Apartheid Money

ANCYL members entered an Absa branch yesterday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. The youth league bused hundreds of supporters from around KwaZulu-Natal province to join the protest outside the branch in the Durban central business district as part of a national call for action against Absa. Some gained entry into the branch, while others danced and sang in the street.

Sasol Profits Drop 44%

Sasol, has released a statement saying first-half profit declined as much as 44% from a year earlier. The company saw translation losses of about R1.3 billion ($98 million) due to the strengthening of the rand against the dollar, while strike action at its Secunda mining operations resulted in a cost of about R1 billion.

McDonalds To Test Out A Big Mac ATM

This is crazy. At the touch of a screen, customers can choose between three sizes of Big Mac, which will come out of the ATM with no human help. Participants will need to tweet out their experience to receive the free meal.This is a one day trial by McDonalds but i sincerely hope this idea falls flat on its face.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 56.15 – Rand/USD 13.40 – Rand/GBP 16.79 – Rand/EUR 14.29

Manyi Threatens Zuma With Court Action Over FICA Bill

Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi has threatened Jacob Zuma with court action if he signs the FICA bill into law. The Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) is a bill written to combat corruption‚ white collar crime‚ terrorism and money laundering by placing greater scrutiny on the financial affairs of prominent individuals and the politically connected. An example of this is the review of the Gupta accounts which led to them being closed by the big 4 banks. Manyi has said that such action would lead the ANC to bankruptcy by 2019 and that its unconstitutional for the police and banks to do random searches without a warrant. Experts looking into the matter have said its perfectly legal and consistent with international standards. Whats in the bank accounts that Mr Manyi doesn’t want us to see? Fishy.

R400m Waste Energy Plant Opened In Cape Town 

A R400m waste-to-energy conversion plant was officially opened in Athlone. The plant will use 500 tons of organic household, municipal, and industrial waste per day, in an anaerobic digestive process, to produce methane, food-grade carbon dioxide, and organic fertilizer. The plant which will initially employ 80 people can supply around 4% to 5% of the city’s liquid petroleum gas requirement. Currently, the city produces around 8000 tons of waste per day.

No Possibility Of Loadshedding Until 2021

Eskom has reported an operational surplus energy capacity averaging 5 600MW at peak this financial year, an achievement the power utility said could make the country meet any increase in demand until 2021. There are rumors that Eskom is considering selling the excess capacity to neighboring countries but there has been no confirmation of that yet. Eskom also committed to allowing municipalities until January 31 to clear arrears. Over the 2016 financial year, municipal debt increased to R10.2 billion at the end of November, with the Free State, Mpumalanga and North West contributing the most at R7.8 billion combined

Another Big Fuel Price Hike In Feb

It is estimated that there will be about a 44 cents a litre increase in the price of petrol and 37 cents a litre hike in the diesel price in February. The rand/US dollar exchange rate has firmed slightly since the start of January 2017 but the international oil prices have surged ahead by a far greater margin, nullifying any savings we could have made from the weakness of the dollar.

Ford Mustang Fails Safety Standards Test

While investigations continue into the Ford Kuga fires crisis, the company has now been dealt another blow with the announcement that its flagship Mustang has failed to achieve a satisfactory score in the Euro NCAP vehicle-safety test. Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers. The Euro version of the Mustang is the same one sold in South Africa and one has to wonder if Ford really cares about anyone beyond America. Ridiculous!

Vodacom to sell R15bn Stake

Vodacom is considering the sale of a R15-billion stake in the company to boost “black participation in the economy”. The report stated that Vodacom plans to buy back part of a 12.47% stake owned by the Public Investment Corporation. The shares will then be listed as a “separate entity” and restricted to black investors.

SA To Import Tons Of US GMO Corn

South Africa issued permits to allow total imports of 1.3 million metric tons of genetically modified corn from the U.S. South Africa became a net importer of corn for the first time since 2008 in the marketing season that ended in April, after the drought slashed local harvests. So far none of the corn has landed in South African ports.

Currencies And Stuff 

Oil 55.54 – Rand/USD 13.25 – Rand/GBP 16.73 – Rand/EUR 14.25

More On ANC”War Room”

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa on Tuesday denied allegations that they hired public relations consultant Sihle Bolani to smear the EFF and DA ahead of the 2016 local government elections, and said the party only paid her an amount of R1-million to avoid a court battle. In the meantime, twitter celebrities have come out to confirm that they were added to whatsapp groups where they were asked to tweet malicious and misleading things about the opposition. Question is, why would you pay a “volunteer” R1 million for work she never did? What volunteers get paid in the first place?!

Sibanye Claims R26.8m From Zwane And Inspectors

Sibanye to sue department officials in their individual capacities for the way they had implemented the section 54 notice to stop operations because of safety violations. In 2016 AngloGold won a case before the labour court in which Judge Andre van Niekerk agreed with the company that the safety stoppage ordered at the Kopanang mine was out of proportion to the offence and the Mine Health and Safety Act.

Tshwane Church Square To Be Revamped

Church Square in central Tshwane is getting a facelift to make it more pedestrian friendly so motorists will no longer be able to access it. The statue of Paul Kruger will remain part of the square but it will be surrounded by trees and flowers. The beautification project should take nine months.

Interest Rates Unchanged

Governor Lesetja Kganyago on Tuesday announced, at the end of the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the year, that the committee had kept the repo rate at 7%. Economic growth is also under pressure, although SA should grow at 1.1% this year and 1.6% in 2018, which is below potential. The Reserve Bank said it might start hiking interest rates again if higher global oil prices or a hit to the rand were to cause above-target inflation rates to persist into next year.

Rosatom And Eskom Deny Nuclear Bid

Rosatom said it has not yet submitted its bid for South Africa’s 9.6 GW nuclear procurement project. A Rosatom spokesperson said that it “remains an interested bidder for South Africa’s nuclear new build programme and has confirmed that it intends to respond to the Request for Information but has not yet done so.

FlySafair Turns A Profit

Low-cost carrier FlySafair says it made a profit in 2016, the carrier’s second year of operations.During 2016, it added three new aircraft to its operating fleet, bringing it to a total of 9 aircraft. In August, the airline also launched new routes from Lanseria to Cape Town and George. At the same time SAA is drowning and in shambles. SMH

Trump To Implement Strict U.S Entry Restrictions

Donald Trump is preparing to issue an executive order dramatically restricting refugee admissions to the U.S. and denying visas to individuals from countries his administration deems high-risk. This includes blocking refugees from Syria from entering the U.S, suspending all refugee admissions for 120 days and temporarily suspending visa issuances to people in countries where the administration considers security screening inadequate. He has also vowed to go ahead with his wall

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 55.31 – Rand/USD 13.38 – Rand/GBP 16.71 – Rand/EUR 14.35

ANC R50m Elections Propaganda Campaign

In an article by the Mail & Guardian, it is claimed that the ANC sought to undermine the election campaigns of the EFF and DA through a covert propaganda campaign that would have used various media platforms to discredit opposition parties. The plan was to spread fake news and use influencers to push voters to the ANC while tarnishing the opposition. This emerged in a court affidavit by PR expert Sihle Bolani who claims she is owed R2.2m for work done as part of “The War Room”. The ANC has denied these accusations.

Sanral Prepares 6286 Sumons For Outstanding E-toll’s

Sanral has prepared 6,286 summonses in a bid to recover R6.2bn in outstanding e-toll debt from Gauteng motorists. Sanral is also gearing up for its legal fight with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse over an e-toll test case, which could provide final clarity on how the user-pays principle should be applied. Sanral has R38bn in debt that has to be serviced.

Reserve Bank To Announce Interest Rate Decision Today

South Africa’s Reserve Bank, led by Governor Lesetja Kganyago, may leave the benchmark repurchase rate at 7% for a fifth straight meeting, according to all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Low metal prices, weak global demand and a drought probably cut expansion in South Africa to the lowest since a 2009 recession, according to government estimates.

Trump Pulls Out Of Pacific Trade Deal

Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, distancing America from its Asian allies. The TPP accord, backed heavily by US business, was negotiated by former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration but never approved by Congress.

Brit Supreme Court Rules Brexit Exit Must Be Voted On By Parliament

The highest UK court ruled Prime Minister Theresa May must seek the permission of Parliament to trigger the two-year countdown to Brexit, handing lawmakers a chance to soften the government’s plan. The judges said the withdrawal will make a fundamental change by cutting off the source of European Union law, as well as changing legal rights.

U.S To Sell $418m In Military Aircraft To Kenya

he U.S. State Department has approved a possible $418 million sale to Kenya of aircraft with weapons and related support. This expense for a country which cant pay its doctors is baffling.

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 55.73 – Rand/USD 13.44 – Rand/GBP 16.73 – Rand/EUR 14.43

Zuma Doesnt Want Lifestyle Audits

President Jacob Zuma has lashed out at those who called for implementation of lifestyle audits in the top echelons of the ANC, despite two of the party’s top six insisting on their importance. Zuma said leaders requesting such audits must “behave properly”, as the movement had pulled out all the stops to fight corruption, which he said was “not a problem brought by us”.

Missing Millions After Gambia’s Jammeh

More than $11m (£8.8m) is missing from The Gambia’s state coffers following the departure of long-time leader Yahya Jammeh. Luxury cars and other items were reportedly loaded on to a Chadian cargo plane as Mr Jammeh left the country. He had refused to accept election results but finally left after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention.

Motsepe Buys 10% Of Alex-Forbes

African Rainbow Capital, chaired by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, will acquire a 10% stake in financial services company Alexander Forbes. Alexander Forbes said shareholders approved ARC’s acquisition in its African operations, with net proceeds of R678.1m.

AB InBev Offer Severance Packages In SA

AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has offered more than 1 000 employees in South Africa voluntary severance following its merger with SAB Miller. As part of the merger conditions, AB InBev was required to maintain the number of employees in SAB Millers’s South African operations for five years after the date of the merger and not implement forced retrenchments.

Samsung Blames Battery Design & Manufacturing For Note 7 Fires

Samsung internal and independent investigations concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents. According to the findings, the problems centred on insufficient insulation material within the batteries and a design that did not give enough room to safely accommodate the batteries’ electrodes. The recall is thought to have cost $5.3bn (£4.3bn)

Currencies & Stuff

Oil 55.32 – Rand/USD 13.53 – Rand/GBP 16.77 – Rand/EUR 14.50