Prasa CEO Ups His Salary 4

The acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is accused of upping his own salary to more than four times the agreed amount. Collins Letsoalo who has been acting CEO since July 2016, was supposed to be paid R1.3 million a year. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Letsoalo demanded that Prasa pay him the R5.9 million package that controversial former CEO Lucky Montana was paid, plus have a chauffeur-driven car and company cellphone with unlimited calls

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Hawks Target Mcebisi Jonas

City Press has established that the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit is gathering evidence that could implicate Jonas in a case of corruption involving a supplier to SAA’s aviation maintenance division, SAA Technical. The case is being investigated by Cats unit head Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, who also investigated the case against Gordhan. The theory is that removing Jonas will allow Brian Molefe to replace him and that is key because the deputy minister of finance is also chairperson and Non-Executive Director of Public Investment Corporation Limited.

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Millions Of Traffic Fines To Be Scrapped In Gauteng

The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that millions of traffic fines issued since 2008 must be scrapped. According to a ruling on Friday, all fines issued since 2008 that did not comply with the conditions outlined in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act must be cancelled.

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Cell C’s BEE Partner threatens To Derail BlueLabel Deal

Cell C’s black equity partner, CellSaf, has threatened to scupper Blue Label Telecoms’ significant investment in the cellphone operator. CellSaf accused Oger Telecom of not working in the best interest of Cell C and threatened legal action if Blue Label’s proposed acquisition of a 45% interest in Cell C goes ahead. CellSaf owns 25% of Cell C’s holding company, 3C Telecommunications.

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Nokia Launches 4 New Phones, Not Just The 3310

HMD, the guys who have the brand rights to Nokia, announced a slate of low-cost new phones that will be sold under the Nokia brand. The company, run by a cast of former Nokia executives. The new phone models by Nokia are the “Nokia 6”, “Nokia 5”, “Nokia 3” and “Nokia 3310”.  The new 3310 has the same old-fashioned keypad and comes in a couple of bright plastic-y colors. A small color screen and potentially weeks of battery life round out the 49 euro ($52) device.

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Over Half Of Joburg Water Lost To Leaks & Illegal Use

The Johannesburg and Durban metros are currently losing losing a combined 56% of their water through leaks and illegal connections. In the Johannesburg Metro alone‚ we have 35% of non-revenue water and of that 16% is unaccounted for. In the eThekwini Metro also‚ we have 40.7% of non-revenue water and of that‚ 59.3% is unaccounted for. In all likelihood‚ in both cases‚ this is water lost through leaks and illegal connections.

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Indicators : Oil 56.74 – Rand/USD 12.98 – Rand/GBP 16.06 – Rand/EUR 13.72


16 Letters Detail Gordhan & Moyane War

16 letters have emerged exposing the true extent of the war between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and minister of finance Pravin Gordhan. In one letter Moyane accuses Gordhan of subjecting him to “horrible and intolerable working conditions through belittling, humiliating, denigrating, antagonising and disparaging persona” he goes on to say, “I ask  myself every day what have i ever done to you that has made you mistreat and beseige me as if i am a little boy”. In turn, Gordhan warned Moyane that approving his own performance bonus was unethical, immoral and illegal. In most cases Gordhan did not respond to the letters but it seems Moyane approached pres Zuma for help which the president didnt give him.

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Xenophobia March & MTN Nigeria Attack

Thousands of people are expected to take part in an anti-immigration march in Pretoria where law Law enforcement officers will be deployed along the route and at venues where memorandums would be handed over. The anti-immigration march was organised by a group calling itself the Concerned Mamelodi Residents. Meanwhile, the MTN offices in Nigeria were attacked yesterday and vandalised in retaliation to what is going on here. This lead to police having to be deployed to protect the premises.

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SA Tops Global Equity Returns Since 1900

South African stocks have returned an average 7.2%, more than 2%age points above the global average and the most among 23 nations tracked by Credit Suisse and LBS. The nation is Africa’s biggest coal and iron-ore producer, and the world’s largest of platinum, manganese and ferrochrome. Denmark tops the list for bond returns with an average 3.3%, equities were the best-performing asset in every country, showing over the long run there has been a reward for higher risk.

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Discovery posts Encouraging Results

Shares in Discovery rose as much as 7.92% to R127.99, despite the group missing earnings forecasts. The share price closed 4.35% higher at R124.70. Delivering the group’s results for the six months to December 2016, CEO Adrian Gore said the group had more than R1bn to fund new business growth and operating losses in emerging businesses Ping An Health, Discovery Insure and the Vitality Group were substantially lower.

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Swiss Firm hit By $100 Million Fraud

Swiss engineering group ABB on Wednesday said it fell victim to a “sophisticated criminal scheme” at its South Korean subsidiary, with the chief suspect an executive responsible for ethics training. The executive is suspected of forging documents and colluding with third parties to steal funds, ABB said, estimating it would take a pre-tax charge of about $100 million for the affair, which analysts said raised concerns about its corporate oversight. The company claimed that he embezzled a combined 35.7 billion won ($31.31 million) in 73 transactions, the official said, adding that police were investigating the man’s accounts.

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Swedes Overpaying Their Taxes

Official figures published on February 22nd showed tax revenues poured in far faster than forecast last year. Sweden’s government got a budget surplus of 85bn kronor ($9.5bn) in 2016. Nearly half of that, 40bn Skr, was from overpayment by firms and individuals. This appears to be deliberate. Income tax rates, at least for the well-off, can be as high as 57% while we are crying about 45% in South Africa. then again, you get what you pay for in those countries while nobody really knows what we get here.

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Indicators : Oil 56.43 – Rand/USD 12.90 – Rand/GBP 16.16 – Rand/EUR 13.66




Brian Molefe Sworn In As MP

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has reportedly been sworn in as ANC member of Parliament. The official announcement is expected to be made when the National Assembly sits on Thursday afternoon.


VAT On Fuel Coming In 2018

Treasury is currently mulling the potential of removing the zero VAT rating on fuel but adds that “this will be subject to consultation leading up to the 2018 budget”. Gordhan announced that there will be a 30c per litre increase in the fuel levy and a nine cents per litre increase in the RAF levy‚ effective on 5 April.


Sibanye Pays R1.3 Billion Dividend

Sibanye, which during 2016 added the whole of Aquarius Platinum and Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg mines to its portfolio, declared a total dividend of R1.45 per share for the year, returning R1.3bn to shareholders. Sibanye reported a profit for the year to end-December of R3.3bn compared with R538m a year earlier. Net debt in the group grew to R6.3bn from R1.3bn a year earlier as its gross debt shot up to R8bn from R1.8bn a year earlier


Pravin Gordhans Investment Portfolio

A document released by Parliament’s ethics committee reveals that finance minister Pravin Gordhan held shares in more than 35 listed companies in 2016. Fin24 provided an image from the document highlighting Gordhan’s investment portfolio, which includes some of the biggest JSE-listed companies. The ministers’ portfolio includes shares in the banking industry, mining, real estate investment trusts, retailers, and the telecommunications sector. News24 reported on Tuesday that members of Parliament who did not meet the deadline to submit their financial interests and gifts will be given seven days to explain why they failed to do so. The seven days will only come into effect once the members have received letters from the acting registrar of Parliament, who has not sent them out yet.


$1 Trillion Trade Deal

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is aimed at cutting red tape and making the international flow of goods more seamless. It spans all 164 members of the World Trade Organization, including the U.S. The WTO said the deal will slash its members’ trade costs by average of 14.3% and will boost global merchandize trade by $1 trillion a year.


Indicators : Oil 56.31 – Rand/USD 12.97 – Rand/GBP 16.09 – Rand/EUR 13.67


Budget 2017 Broken Down

Here are the major points to focus on from the Budget delivered by minister Pravin Gordhan.

  • New tax rate for the super rich. High income earners, those earning more than R1.5 million a year, will pay 45% tax. Around 100 000 taxpayers will be affected
  • Sin tax on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will go up between 6% and 10% this year.
  • An increase of 30c/litre in the general fuel levy and 9c/litre in the road accident fund levy.
  • Government will spend R187.5 billion on health
  • Government will spend R320.5 billion on education including and extra R5 billion for higher education.
  • 47.5% of available funds are allocated to national government, 43.4% to provinces & 9.1% to local government.
  • The annual allowance for tax free savings accounts will be increased to R33 000
  • Old age grant will increase by R90 to R1600 for pensioners over the age of 60 and R1620 for those over 75
  • Foster care grants increase by R30 to R920 a month.  The child support grant increases by R20 to R380 a month
  • Public procurement will amount to about R1.5 trillion over the next three years
  • Measures being put in place to make sure banking sector rigging will be stamped out and more licenses have been issued in the banking sector.


Pravin To Deliver His Budget Speech

Pravin has quite a juggling act on his hands with the 2017 budget speech. In October, Gordhan said tax-policy measures will raise an extra R43bn ($3.3bn) and spending will be reduced by R26bn in the next two years to narrow the budget shortfall. That said, there is a distinct possibility that taxes will be raised while some sacrifices will have to be made to trim government spending. Raising the 14% value-added tax rate is another option but this is politically unpopular because its thought to hurt the poor.

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Telkom Considers R13Bn Bid For Cell C

Telkom is considering a bid of as much as $1bn (R13.16bn) for wireless operator Cell C, which has missed debt payments and is trying to complete a recapitalisation. Blue Label Telecoms agreed to buy a 45% stake in Cell C last year, but the deal has yet to be completed a week before the end-February deadline. Telkom held talks with Cell C’s owner Oger Telecom in 2015 about buying the carrier but failed to agree on a price.

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Barclays Africa Granted Immunity In Forex Rigging Case

The Competition Commission has granted Barclays Africa conditional immunity from prosecution in return for its continuing cooperation in the rand currency trading probe. “We did, through the investigation, receive a leniency application from Barclays/ABSA which cooperated and gave us more information,” The head of the Commission Tembinkosi Bonakele told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday. I think these banks are being treated with kid gloves.

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Verizon Cuts Yahoo Deal By  $350 Million

Verizon and Yahoo  have agreed to cut the acquisition price by $350 million following Yahoo’s disclosures in recent months of two huge security breaches affecting more than one billion users. Verizon’s new price tag for buying Yahoo’s core Internet assets is $4.48 billion, all in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

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HSBC Suffers Loss Of $4.2 Billion

HSBC reported a net loss of $4.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016. The biggest single hit to its battered bottom line came from a $2.4 billion writedown of the value of its private banking business in Europe. HSBC’s fourth-quarter results also suffered from lower revenue and higher costs than the same period a year earlier, when it posted a net loss of $1.3 billion. The bank’s shares were trading down around 5% in Hong Kong after it published the earnings report.

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Indicators : Oil 56.90 – Rand/USD 13.13 – Rand/GBP 16.35 – Rand/EUR 13.81



Citibank Settles On R69m Fine Forex Fine

The Citi Banking Group has agreed to pay its fourth fine related to forex rigging after reaching a settlement with the Competition Commission on Monday. Citi has agreed to pay R69.5m for its role in the saga and was previously fined $310m for forex benchmark rigging by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2014. Citibank was also fined £225.6m the same day by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.

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Gauteng Govt To Spend 91% Of Procurement Budget On Black Business

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday during his State of the Province Address said his government will be spending 91% of its procurement budget on black businesses. Of the 12,000 companies that conduct business with our provincial administration, 10,000 of them are Historically Disadvantaged Individuals.

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Govt Spent R873m On Legal Fees Last Year

Last year, government spent R873m on legal services — an increase of 161% over six years. The police, whose legal costs are up 228% over the same period, accounted for R300m of that. Tracking the amount spent on legal services by all 35 national departments since the 2009/2010 financial year reveals an alarming trajectory. The total rises from R334m in 2009/2010 to R873m in 2015/2016. That’s an increase of 161% — or R540m in round numbers — since the beginning of Zuma’s administration.

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Russia Outproduces Saudi Arabia On Crude Oil

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude producer in December, when both countries started restricting supplies ahead of agreed cuts with other global producers. Russia pumped 10.49 million barrels a day in December, down 29 000 barrels a day from November, while Saudi Arabia’s output declined to 10.46 million barrels a day from 10.72 million barrels a day in November. The US was the third-largest producer, at 8.8 million barrels a day.

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Cape Town Rentals Highest In SA

Figures released by credit bureau TPN, which vets the credit records of tenants who stay in rental properties, disclosed that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Cape Town was around R7 000, more than double what the average South African earns a month. Since the last quarter of 2015, the percentage of rent increases in the Western Cape and North West remained above 10%, while over the same period the percentage of rent increases in Gauteng remained below 5%.

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Indicators : JSE 52’558 – Oil 56.21 – Rand/USD 13.06 – Rand/GBP 16.23 – Rand/EUR 13.83

New Stock Exchange ZAR X Launches

ZAR X will launch today with the listing of both Senwes and Senwesbel Ltd. ZAR X is South Africa’s newest stock exchange. They say they are a low-cost, efficient trading platform empowering ordinary South Africans with shareholder opportunities. I cant wait to see what they can do!

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Brian Molefe For Parliament

On Friday, parliament announced that Molefe will be sworn in as an ANC MP “to fill a vacancy on the North West list of ANC Members of Parliament, which is depleted”, said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo. Yesterday, the Sunday Independent reported that Molefe was “sneaked through the back-door in an attempt to position him for a cabinet position” and the news caused “ructions” in the North West province’s ANC structures, with various branches saying he wasn’t a member. There are reports that ANC MP Abram Mudau was pushed to resign from Parliament to make a space for Molefe. The ANC doesnt learn. Have they forgotten what happened when they parachuted Thoko Didiza into Tshwane?

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Dipuo Peters Fires ACSA Board Members 

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has dismissed four Airports Company SA (Acsa) board members. McDonald Kenosi Moroka, Kate Matlou, Bajabulile Luthuli and Chwayita Mabude were served with notices of their immediate dismissal from the Acsa board in their inboxes just after midday on Thursday, when they were expecting to make representations at a shareholders’ meeting about why they should remain on
the board.

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Kraft Heinz Drops Bid To Buy Unilever 

Kraft Heinz said in a joint statement with Unilever that it had “amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal for a combination of the two companies”. A takeover would have created the world’s second-largest consumer goods group by sales behind Nestlé, combining brands such as Kraft Mac & Cheese and Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Unilever’s Dove soap and Magnum ice cream. Kraft Heinz had wanted to buy Unilever for a staggering $143 billion.

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Medical Marijuana Given The Green Light In S.A

Government has taken its first official steps in legalising the manufacture of marijuana for medicinal use, according to a report by The Mercury. Under this Act, medical practitioners can apply to the Council for permission to access and prescribe unregistered medicines – including cannabis – for their patients in certain exceptional circumstances. Authorisation from the council is dependent on the submission of an appropriate dosage regimen and acceptable justification for the proposed and intended use.

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IMF To Help Somalia Print First Bank Notes Since 1990

The IMF will help in the printing of new Somali shilling notes that will come into circulation this year, alongside the dollar that’s been the main means of payment, and will replace fake or old currency printed during 1990-91. About 98 percent of the currency circulating in the country is fake hence the US dollar is preferred as legal tender instead. Printing of the new notes, which will initially be in small denominations, is aimed at restoring the Central Bank of Somalia’s powers to set monetary policy.


R78 Million Cocaine Bust At ORT

Cocaine worth an estimated street value of R78m was confiscated at the Oliver Tambo International Airport by SARS Customs officials on Saturday. En route from Sao Paulo to Nairobi, Kenya, the 271kg of narcotics were found in a cargo warehouse during routine operations. The specific shipment indicated as cosmetics on official documentation.

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Currencies And Stuff

JSE 52’447 – Oil 56.09 – Rand/USD 13.10 – Rand/GBP 16.24 – Rand/EUR 13.90