Brian Molefe Says He Never Left Eskom

Brian Molefe is adamant he should be reinstated to his position as Eskom’s CEO. He insists he and Eskom made an honest mistake when they agreed on his early retirement from the power utility five years too early. The DA, EFF, and Solidarity  went to court on Wednesday to have Molefe’s R30-million pension payout declared unlawful and set aside.

Source

Tegeta Threatens To Cut Eskom Coal Supply

On Friday last week, Tegeta Exploration and Resources threatened to shut down the conveyor belts that supply coal to Hendrina power station. Tegeta – owned by the Guptas, Trillian founder Salim Essa, and the president’s son Duduzane Zuma – wanted Eskom to increase the R150/ton it pays to Tegeta for coal from the Optimum mine.  According to leaked minutes of an Eskom meeting on Friday, Eskom retaliated by threatening to approach the court. “Legal counsel was instructed to prepare the interdict and a meeting was held with [Tegeta] this morning, to discuss actions to be taken. Verbal commitment [were] made by [Tegeta] at 12:30 that they will not stop the conveyor belt to [Hendrina]; Eskom requested written confirmation by 15:00 today. If it is not delivered urgent legal action will be taken,” the minutes read.

Source

Multichoice’s R500m “Bribe” To SABC

Minutes of a high-level 2013 meeting between South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executives and MultiChoice suggest the Naspers pay-TV subsidiary tried to use a R500m payment for an SABC news channel as cover to secure influence over government policy on encryption. Analysts said MultiChoice saw encryption as a threat to its dominance of the pay-TV market and the company was determined to reverse government policy and ensure set-top boxes were not encrypted.

Source

SAA Losses To Hit R4Billion

Losses at South African Airways are set to widen to R4 billion ($292.86 million) in 2017/18 – up from a previous estimate of R2.8 billion, according to Chief financial officer, Phumeza Nhantsi. Last week, SAA said even with a government injection of R10 billion, the struggling airline will remain under-capitalised with a negative equity position of over R9 billion. Vuyani Jarana, SAA’s CEO, said the airline had outstanding debt of R13.8 billion($1.01 billion) as of this month and that it needed to pay back domestic lenders and U.S. bank Citi R4 billion by March 2018.

Source

Naspers Interim Profits Up 65%

Group core headline earnings, the board’s measure of sustainable operating performance, was US$1.5 billion – a 65% increase year on year. Naspers, which owns a 34% stake in Tencent, said headline earnings climbed to $1.5 billion, or 350 cents per share, from $914 million, or 212 cents per share. The group said that it delivered a solid performance for the six months to 30 September 2017 with group revenue, measured on an economic-interest basis, increasing 33% year on year to US$9.0 billion (or 39% in local currency and adjusted for acquisitions and disposals).

Source

Bitcoin Breaks $11000 Barrier

The price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin smashed through $11,000 on Wednesday — less than 12 hours after bursting through the $10,000 mark. Hitting almost $11,400 per coin, the digital currency has now gained about 1,000% year-to-date. Bitcoin’s rise in 2017, according to the Guardian, has been the largest of any asset class. But, drawing comparisons between previous rallies the cryptocrrency has enjoyed, the price is only up about 5,000% since it hit a low in January 2015. Previous rallies, from July 2010 to mid-2011, and from 2012 to 2014 have seen bitcoin soar just less than 40,000% and 55,000% respectively.

Source

Big Changes To Parental Leave Law

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill‚ which was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday‚ is a landmark achievement for parental rights as it allows for all parents to access parental leave‚ regardless of gender. In terms of the Bill‚ an employee who is a parent and who is not entitled to maternity leave‚ is entitled to ten consecutive days’ parental leave when their child is born or when an adoption order is granted.

Source

Currencies: Bitcoin R162,331 . Ether R7,001 . R/USD13.66 . R/GBP18.36 . R/EUR16.20

 

 

Advertisements

Time Magazine Sold TO Rivals

Time magazine is about to have new owners — including the billionaire Koch brothers.
Media company Meredith (MDP) announced Sunday that it has agreed to buy the 95-year-old magazine’s publisher, Time Inc., for $2.8 billion. Acquiring the legendary magazine business gives Meredith control of dozens of other big titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly. Meredith already publishes several top magazines, including Parents, Shape and Better Homes & Gardens.

Source

New Govt Plan To Battle Downgrades

The government is looking to implement R30bn in tax hikes and more than R50bn of spending cuts in 2018 as it struggles to stabilise the ballooning public-debt ratio and respond to the concerns of ratings agencies and investors.

Source

Water Dept To Throttle Municipalities

An ongoing culture of nonpayment by local municipalities has exacerbated the water troubles South Africa faces, with the Department of Water and Sanitation currently owed R10.7-billion. The Minister has now issued notices to 30 municipalities that the department would terminate bulk water supply should they fail to pay their water debts by December 8.

Source

Mining Charter Court Case Postponed

The showdown between the mining sector and Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane over the controversial Mining Charter will now only take place next year, after the charter’s court review was postponed. The hearing was moved to mid-February next year at the request of the Chamber of Mines, which voiced concerns that the two days set aside in December was not enough time to argue the case properly.

Source

China Pollution Harming The Economy

China has transformed over the past four decades from an economic backwater to an unrivaled industrial power that consumes huge amounts of raw materials and energy. The tremendous change has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but also polluted the country’s air and water. The government has already undertaken initiatives to promote clean energy vehicles and sideline polluting industries. Beijing has signed the Paris Climate Accord and is working on a plan to eventually phase out cars powered solely by fossil fuels. The changes are coming at the expense of economic growth, which has dropped from above 10% in 2010 to below 7% in recent years.

Source

New Eskom Board To Be Announced Soon

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown will present the names of the proposed members of the Eskom board to the cabinet on December 6. In his medium-term budget policy statement last month, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said that a new Eskom board would be appointed before the end of this month. Business Report understands that this week’s cabinet meeting has been postponed until next week. Zethembe Khoza has been Eskom’s interim chairperson since the unexpected resignation of Ben Ngubane in June this year.

Source

Bitcoin Billionaire Estimates Rise To $40000 By End Of 2018

Bitcoin was hovering just $300 shy of the vaunted $10,000 mark at one point on Monday but it could “easily” reach four times that amount by the end of 2018. That’s according to former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz. “Bitcoin could be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. It easily could,” Novogratz said on the CNBC show Fast Money, Monday. “Ethereum, which I think just touched $500 or is getting close, could be triple where it is as well,” he added.

Source

Currencies: Bitcoin R170,675 . Ether R8,197 . R/USD13.77 . R/GBP18.32 . R/EUR16.39

Farmers Warn Of Rocketing Food Prices

South African consumers are about to be hit by high food prices this festive season because of the lingering effects of drought, Agri SA warned on Friday. It said things would get tougher due to the recent drought that hit large parts of the country and affected food production in provinces such as the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape. Already, South Africa has witnessed an average increase in meat prices of 15.5%, while milk, cheese and eggs increased by 2.7%, the last also attributed to avian flu.

Source

SA Downgraded TO Junk By S&P

Global ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on Friday evening downgraded South Africa’s long-term local currency rating to ‘BB+’, or junk, from ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook, while Moody’s has placed the country on review to be downgraded. S&P also further lowered SA’s long-term foreign currency debt to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+’, meaning this debt is now on the second rung of non-investment grade. Moody’s Investors Service then announced that it had placed the Baa3 long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings of the government of South Africa on review for downgrade.

Source

Britian Now Out Of Worlds Top 5 Economies

Britain has officially abandoned its claim to be the world’s fifth largest economy. While there are several ways to measure the size of an economy, the U.K. Treasury pointed to GDP forecasts published by the International Monetary Fund in October to back up his statement. The numbers show that France will narrowly squeak ahead of Britain in the group’s 2017 ranking of global economies, with its advantage predicted to widen considerably in 2018.

Source

SARS Pays R18.5 Billion To Taxpayers

The SA Revenue Service (SARS) paid R18.5bn to 2.22 million taxpayers at the close of the tax season for non-provisional taxpayers on Friday November 24. This is a 26% increase compared to last year, SARS said in a statement issued on Sunday. It explained that these refunds apply to returns filed for the 2016/2017 tax year, which have been submitted during Tax Season 2017 from July 1 to November 24.

Source

Bitcoin Smashes Through $8500 Mark

Bitcoin has reached another all-time high, breaking through the $9,000 mark on international exchanges and R150,000 on Luno. The price of Bitcoin has continued to climb despite the calling off of a switch to SegWit2x.SegWit2x would have been the culmination of a compromise that was set in motion earlier this year, through “The New York Agreement” and a document called BIP91 (Bitcoin improvement proposal 91). Despite the consensus achieved through BIP91, increasing Bitcoin’s block size remained a controversial change – and it has since been suspended due to a lack of buy-in from many Bitcoin players. Bitcoin has seen huge growth since the start of 2017, with the token trading at around R12,000 at the beginning of the year.

Source

Witnesses Fail To Testify In Koko Case

The prosecution in Eskom’s disciplinary process against Matshela Koko was forced to close its case prematurely on Saturday after witnesses declined to testify against the suspended former acting CEO. Evidence leader Cassim Moosa told advocate Mzungulu Mthombeni, chairman of the hearing, that a number of witnesses had declined his invitation to testify against Koko. This means Eskom will struggle to prove the serious allegations against Koko, paving the way for him to be reinstated and to assume the “rotating” CEO’s seat that was vacated by Brian Molefe in 2016. This entire thing has been a sham and tailor made for Koko to get off unscathed.

Source

Ex Zim Finance Minister Facing Corruption Charges

Ignatius Chombo, Zimbabwe’s finance minister until the military seized control of the country, was charged with three offenses including corruption, abuse of office and fraud. Chombo appeared in a Harare court on Saturday to face the charges, which were listed in a document handed to reporters at the court by his lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku. The court ruled that Chombo must remain in custody until Monday when his team can apply for bail.

Source

Hawks Investigating Brian Molefe Pension

The NPA said in papers that the office of the Hawks is probing those involved in the alleged pension fund saga. Solidarity has asked the court to order that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) investigate the matter. Earlier this year, the union filed an affidavit in which it asked the court to overturn Eskom’s decision to reappoint Molefe as CEO, as well as the approval of the payout

Source

Currencies: Bitcoin R160,553 . Ether R7,873 . R/USD13.89 . R/GBP18.47. R/EUR16.56

Black Friday Causes Site Crashes & Chaos

The annual Black Friday discount bonanza happening in South Africa and around the world has some outlets offering discounts of up to 50%. Stores experiencing problems are; retail giant Takealot, online fashion store Superbalist.com. and websites across The Foschini Group (TFG) have been experiencing technical difficulties due to the Black Friday craziness. There is also gridlocked traffic around shopping malls as people rush to get deals.

Source

IDC To Sue Oakbay After They Miss Deadline

Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources & Energy’s woes have escalated with news that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is suing it for its failure to meet a demand to pay R293m by Thursday. The claim arises from the alleged unlawful manipulation of the Oakbay share price ahead of the company’s listing on the JSE in November 2014. The allegations, investigated by the Financial Services Board, were that a Singaporean entity funded by the Gupta family bought shares in Oakbay just prior to its listing in order to boost the share price.

Source

Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

The Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday‚ when the monetary policy committee (MPC) wrapped up its last meeting for the year. That leaves the repo at 6.75%‚ where it has been since July’s cut of 25 basis points — the first cut in five years.

Source

Fitch Leaves SA Credit Rating Unchanged

On Thursday at about 5.30pm, Fitch held SA’s sovereign credit rating at the BB+ “first tier of junk” level it downgraded the country to on April 7. Fitch maintained its outlook at stable, and the outlooks of the big three ratings agencies are important clues as to their next actions. At about 11pm on Friday night, S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s are scheduled to release their latest verdicts on the creditworthiness of South African government bonds.

Source

Vodacom Facing Lawsuit Over Disappearing Airtime

In an attempt to quell customer dissatisfaction, the network began the process of “gifting” their customers with 500 megabyte once-off data bundles. Despite the action Vodacom denied robbing it’s customers purchased data, instead saying, “the reality is that data is not disappearing – we are just using more data at a much faster rate. “The reason for the higher data use is because our smartphones are becoming more entrenched in all our daily activities,” Vodacom said. Despite it’s claims, Vodacom is now facing a class action lawsuit for tens of millions for “unauthorised fees” that it has charged it’s subscribers. Bidvest Car Rental executive, William Douglas has decided to take action against the network giant over his Vodacom account allegedly being “billed without consent for content services.”

Source

British Salaries Could Be Frozen For 17 Years

The Resolution Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, said that average earnings, when adjusted for inflation, are likely to stay below the level they hit before the global financial crisis until the start of 2025. That means 17 years without a pay hike. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, the country’s leading independent economic research institute, gave a similarly dire warning. Britain’s independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) on Wednesday slashed its growth forecast for this year from 2% to 1.5%. The watchdog said that weak productivity means growth won’t pick up until 2021, and it cited Brexit as one factor.

Source

Mitshubishi Admits Falsifying Data

Mitsubishi Materials said Thursday that it had falsified data on multiple products — including components used in cars and airplanes — for more than a year. Mitsubishi Cable Industries had been misrepresenting data on rubber sealants used in automobiles and aircraft, the company added. Data was falsified for around 270 million units sold between April 2015 and September 2017 to a total of 229 customers. Another subsidiary, Mitsubishi Shindoh, had been fudging details of some of its metal products for at least the past year, including brass and copper parts used in the automotive and electronics industries. At least 29 companies are believed to have bought the parts in question.

Source

Currencies: Bitcoin R132,546 . Ether R6,462 . R/USD13.94 . R/GBP18.48 . R/EUR16.49

Tsotsi Reaveals Dudu Myeni Eskom Influence

Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni met with former Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi in President Jacob Zuma’s Durban home‚ where she told him to institute an inquiry and suspend three top Eskom executives. These shocking claims were among explosive evidence given by Tsotsi in his testimony to Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee. Tsotsi said Myeni had told him that because of Eskom’s financial distress‚ an inquiry should be instituted and three executives – acting CEO Tsediso Matona‚ Dan Marokane and Mathsela Koko – should be suspended.

Source

Gigaba Seems To U Turn On Nuclear

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba appeared to backtrack on his nuclear stance on Wednesday, saying in Parliament that SA would pursue the nuclear build programme at a pace and scale the government could afford. In his maiden medium-term budget policy statement in October, Gigaba suggested SA had neither planned for spending on nuclear nor could the country afford it. It is estimated the nuclear build programme could cost R1-trillion.

Source

Gupta’s To Appear Before Eskom Inquiry

Tony, Ajay and Atup Gupta, President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, former SAA boss Dudu Myeni, Eric Wood and Salim Essa are to be “invited” to appear before the parliamentary inquiry into state capture. All have been implicated in testimony heard by the committee over the past month. Members of the public enterprises portfolio committee – which is conducting the probe – said on Wednesday afternoon that they should first be invited to attend, but agreed that if this failed, the seven should be served subpoenas.

Source

China Bans Skype

Skype, Microsoft’s internet phone call and messaging service, has disappeared from app stores in China including that of Apple, indicating the latest setback for a foreign tech service in the country. Apple, responding to questions about Skype’s absence, late on Tuesday said it had removed several internet phone call apps from its App Store in China after the country’s government said they violated local laws.

Source

Uber Fined R123 Million Due To Unqaulified Drivers

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission said its probe found violations that included 12 drivers with felony convictions, 17 drivers with major moving-vehicle violations and three drivers with a type of driver’s license required after recent drunk-driving convictions. Since the findings, Colorado has ordered Uber to pay a fine of $8.9 million (R123.95 million). Uber Technologies Inc said in a statement that it recently discovered an error in its background check process in Colorado and began working to correct the issue.

Source

Interest Rates Unlikely To Change

A rate cut will be unlikely given the “significant event risk” of another credit rating downgrade by the end of this week, according an analyst. News that inflation eased to 4.8% for October will not have much influence on the interest rate decision of the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee on Thursday, explained FNB’s senior economic analyst Jason Muscat.

Source

Currencies : Bitcoin R124,977 . Rand/USD 13.85 . Rand/GBP 18.41 . Rand/EUR 16.37

Zuma Admits Unlawful Nxasana Payment

President Jacob Zuma made yet another major admission in court on Tuesday, conceding that the R17m golden handshake offered to former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Mxolisi Nxasana was unlawful. Zuma’s lawyer, Ishmael Semenya, said that the payment to the former national director of public prosecutions was unlawful and that Nxasana should pay back the money. The applicants have all argued that Shaun Abrahams should vacate his position and pave the way for Nxasana.

Source

Molefe Denies Having Resigned

Molefe says that in October he received letters from both the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown and the chairman of the Eskom board‚ Ben Ngubane‚ confirming his appointment. Neither contained any limitation on the period of employment. Also in October‚ he signed his executive employment contract‚ which states that it would continue for an indefinite period. Molefe disputed reports that he had received a R30 million pension when he decided to take early retirement. While this was the total amount due to him‚ he said he had received only around R7 million of this – R4.3 million of which was his Transnet pension‚ which he had transferred. The money and its return are now the subject of court processes after Molefe was made to revoke his retirement‚ returned to Eskom and was then removed again.

Source

Uber Covered Up Massive Data Hack

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm fired its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the hackers. Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world.

Source

SA Smartphone Sales Climb 28%

South African smartphone sales climbed by nearly a third in the third quarter of 2017 compared to last year, helped by falling prices, data from an industry monitoring group showed on Tuesday. Sales rose 28% year-on-year to three million units during the quarter, while basic mobile phone sales were up 6% to 1.6 million units, according to point-of-sale tracking data from GfK South Africa.

Source

Maria Sharapova Investigated For India Property Fraud

Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova is under investigation by Indian police for cheating and criminal conspiracy after the collapse of a luxury housing project that she endorsed, a lawyer said yesterday. The firm behind the development is alleged to have taken millions from homebuyers before the project folded. The five-time Grand Slam champion travelled to India in 2012 to launch the complex, named Ballet by Sharapova, which prospective buyers were told would house a tennis academy as well as a clubhouse and a helipad.

Source

Major Worries Over Sassa And SAPO Handover

The interministerial committee on social security has given the South African Post Office (Sapo) and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) three weeks to develop a pass-over plan which will ensure the lawful, efficient and cost-effective provision of grants in 2018. However, the panel of experts appointed by the Constitutional Court has raised concerns about the committee’s work and flagged the Post Office’s involvement in grant distribution as potentially expensive because a competitive bidding process was absent.

Source

Currencies : Bitcoin R122,288 . Rand/USD 13.98 . Rand/GBP 18.50 . Rand/EUR 16.42

Tencent Market Cap Overtakes Facebook

China’s social media and video game giant Tencent overtook Facebook in market value on Tuesday as investors sent the company soaring to the top five list of the world’s biggest firms. Tencent’s shares, traded in Hong Kong, have doubled in value this year as the tech company’s earnings have repeatedly outmatched analysts’ expectations. By Tuesday afternoon Tencent’s market capitalisation had reached 4.15 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($531bn), surpassing the US social network’s $519bn. Tencent has nearly one billion users on its popular WeChat phone platform, where people can chat, post photos, play games, transfer money and pay for a variety of services in China.

Source

Zuma Allegedly Bribed Nxasana

President Jacob Zuma tried to “bully” former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) head Mxolisi Nxasana out of office by using an inquiry into his fitness, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday. “He tries to bribe him, seduce him with public money,” Wim Trengove SC, representing Freedom Under Law (FUL) said. FUL, Corruption Watch and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) are seeking an order declaring Nxasana’s removal invalid. Nxasana accepted a golden handshake from Zuma worth R17.3m and left the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2015.

Source

Glencore Facing Another Scandal

Two weeks after the Paradise Papers leak brought a wave of scrutiny over Glencore’s dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the company is facing another scandal. The issues stem from Katanga Mining, a Congolese copper producer owned by Glencore. An internal review found among other problems that Katanga had failed to disclose compensation paid to some executives and overstated copper output in 2014. In some cases, senior management and executive directors were responsible for overriding control processes.

Source

Brian Molefe And Zola Tsotsi TO testify In Eskom  Inquiry

Former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe and former chairperson Zola Tsotsi will give evidence in the Eskom inquiry conducted by Parliament’s public enterprises portfolio committee on Tuesday. Molefe and Tsotsi’s names have been raised countless times during the inquiry, which has seen damning testimonies from former and suspended executives, business rescue practitioners, consultants and pension scheme officials. Tsotsi was chair from 2011 to 2015 and Molefe was chief executive from 2015 to 2016.

Source

Water Shortages Hit Joburg Areas Due To Outstanding Payments

The water supply to several areas just south of Johannesburg has failed after bulk water authority Rand Water has reduced the pressure to its client Emfuleni Local Municipality by 60% for defaulting on its debt. The affected areas include the townships of Sebokeng, Golden Gardens, Evaton North, Lakeside and others. These areas have been without water for consecutive weeks. The Department of Water and Sanitation has put the debt to Rand Water at R400m. Rand Water said R81.8m was due now and that R372.5m was overdue.

Source

Rosatom Confirms Widespread Radioactive Contamination

Russia’s meteorological service on Monday confirmed “extremely high” concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in several parts of the country in late September, confirming European reports about the contamination this month. The highest concentration was registered at the station in Argayash, a village in the Chelyabinsk region in the southern Urals, which had “extremely high pollution” of Ru-106, exceeding natural background pollution by 986 times, the service said. Rosatom are said to the preferred nuclear provider for South Africa yet they are hiding such widespread radiation

Source

SA’s First Commercial Solar System Insurance Launched

South African firms All Power Systems and Synthesis said on Monday they had launched the country’s first commercial solar savings insurance to protect companies from risks associated with adverse weather and system failure. All Power Systems and Synthesis Power Holdings had partnered with a global reinsurer to develop a unique solar savings insurance product to underwrite savings guarantees for companies, CEO Jay Naidoo said.

Source

Rand Weakens On Possible Downgrade

he rand weakened yesterday, bowing to a firming dollar and growing concerns over possible credit downgrades of the country’s local-currency bonds to “sub investment” at the end of the week. Risks are focused on Friday’s expected ratings announcements by S&P Global and Moody’s. Both currently have South Africa’s local bond rating a notch above “junk”.

Source

Currencies : Bitcoin R121,390 . Rand/USD 14.07 . Rand/GBP 18.61 . Rand/EUR 16.53