R2.4Billion SA Express Tender Scandal

A virtually unknown music promoter was given a three-year tender to supply SA Express with fuel worth R2.4 billion – but failed to deliver a single drop. This is despite a deal already being in place to receive fuel from South African Airways. SA Express confirmed that its current fuel supply deal with SAA came at an average cost of R45 million a month, thus the dodgy EML Energy deal meant the already troubled airline paid roughly R800 million more than SAA over the three years.

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R1 Billion Crypto Scam Uncovered

The Hawks said Gauteng-based Bitcaw Trading Company, commonly known as BTC Global, was being investigated after more than 28,000 investors suffered losses in a cryptocurrency scam. The company is alleged to have targeted potential investors with promises of 2% interest per day, 14% a week and 50% per month. The Hawks said payments were initially made every Monday but suddenly stopped.

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Court Ruling On Gupta Assets Expected Today

The Bloemfontein High Court on Monday will make a crucial ruling on the state’s successful freezing of R250-million in Gupta assets – and whether prosecutors had enough evidence to justify it. The Guptas’ attorney has confirmed that Varun Gupta, the only family member charged so far in relation to the alleged scam, is back in the country for the ruling. Varun Gupta successfully applied for the right to travel to Dubai for a traditional ceremony. He returned to South Africa over the weekend.

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MTN & Vodacom Fight Over Transnet Tender

Mobile network giants MTN and Vodacom are entangled in a fresh row over a multimillion-rand cell phone and data tender at state-owned freight and rail transport company Transnet. MTN will square off with over Transnet following its refusal to port (switch networks) nearly 13 400 sim cards to Vodacom. The matter is heading to the South Gauteng High Court where MTN will argue that its contract with Transnet is still valid and binding as there is a clause that prevents the state-owned entity from procuring the service from a competitor.

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SARS Releases New Customs Regulations

The South African Revenue Services has released a Customs Requirements for South Africa statement which informs South African travellers about the items that they have to declare when leaving and returning to the country. According to the statement, South Africans that are travelling abroad are not required to declare their personal items when leaving or returning to the country, in terms of customs legislation. In the legislation, personal items are described as personal laptops, cameras or iPad that are are a part of the travellers luggage when they are leaving the country.

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Brazil Truckers Strike Causes Economic Havoc

Sao Paulo, a megacity that’s home to more than 12 million people, declared a state of emergency and warned that shortages caused by the strike may cause a state of public calamity, while export group ABPA said a billion chickens and 20 million swines may die in coming days due to a lack of feed. President Michel Temer said he’s called for the deployment of national security forces to unblock roads and asked governors to do the same. Still, truckers group Abcam – which didn’t take the government’s deal – said the number of highway blockades rose to 521 on Friday from 402 the day prior. Local media reported that drivers continued protesting in at least 14 states. Abcam represents about 700 000 of roughly one million self-employed truck drivers.

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Coronation Takes Steinhoff To Court

Coronation Fund Managers, one of the largest shareholders in Steinhoff when it announced “accounting irregularities” in December, will be taking legal action against the company. Its statement follows last Thursday’s announcement that GT Ferreira and the vendors of Tekkie Town lodged demands with Steinhoff. They were prompted by former chairman Christo Wiese’s decision to serve summons on Steinhoff. Coronation said that where possible it would also be taking action against any other parties that have been complicit in any wrongdoing.

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Mzawanele Manyi Demands R144m From SABC

Mzwanele Manyi, who bought ANN7 and The New Age from the Gupta family, is demanding R144 million from the SABC. According to a report by the Sunday Times, Manyi said the money is owed to the Guptas for business breakfast shows they held with the public broadcaster. The report stated that Manyi has entered arbitration proceedings on the matter, as he has “suffered damages” amounting to R144 million.

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How Brian Molefe Milked Transnet

Former Eskom and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe helped inflate contracts by as much as R16 billion, which was split between four companies – including a Gupta-linked group – giving them billions in kickbacks. Citing a report compiled by law firm Werksmans, Molefe lied to the Transnet board to inflate a tender for 1,064 locomotives. The contract would have initially seen Transnet pay R38.6 billion, but withe reported help from Gupta-linked businessman, Anoj Singh, this was inflated to R54.5 billion, with a kickback of R10 million for every R50 million locomotive that was built.

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Billions Lost Due To Ongoing Bus Strike

Transport economist from North West University Ofentse Mokwena said the country could be losing at least R589 million a week because of the ongoing strike, adding that billions of rands have been lost because of the industrial action. “A general estimate for the weekly costs of bus use from households earning R150 000 a year or less is to the tune of R589 million a week, [and that is] looking only at people between the ages of 15 and 65, and 18% of them use bus services

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ZTE US Ban Causes Network Havoc

ZTE recently announced it had ceased operations after it was banned from purchasing technology products from companies in the United States. The Chinese company was served with a seven-year ban from buying US technology products after it was found to have violated sanctions involving bonuses issued to employees who shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea. ZTE manufactures telecommunications equipment which is used in mobile network infrastructure around the world, including South Africa.

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Apple And Goldman Sachs Team up For Credit Card

Apple and Goldman Sachs are teaming up for a new credit card, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The aim of the Apple Pay-branded card — which could be released in 2019 — is to expand Apple’s mobile payments and also help Goldman Sachs expand into consumer banking, according to the report.

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California Makes Solar Roof Panels Mandatory In New Homes

On Wednesday, the Golden State became the first in the U.S. to require solar panels on almost all new homes. Most new units built after Jan. 1, 2020, will be required to include solar systems as part of the standards adopted by the California Energy Commission. While that’s a boost for the solar industry, critics warned that it will also drive up the cost of buying a house by almost $10,000. Solar shares surged on the decision. Homebuilders fell.

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Icasa Data Decision Expected Today

Consumers will know later on Thursday whether Icasa will slash data prices. There has been general concern regarding the high cost of data as well as the expiry of data bundles.The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has held public hearings to draft the charter regulations.

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Tiger Brands Conceded Products Had Deadly Listeria

Tiger Brands Ltd. said it’s confirmed that the bacteria strain responsible for the world’s worst listeriosis outbreak was found in its products. Results from independent laboratory retesting found the listeria ST6 strain, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The strain has been identified by South African authorities as responsible for the outbreak that’s killed 199 people since the start of 2017.

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Half Of Mining Industry Unprofitable

Mine closures, job losses and the cutting of hundreds of thousands of platinum ounces will be forced on SA’s beleaguered platinum sector, despite companies’ efforts to keep operations going when more than half the industry is unprofitable. Platinum mines employ about 170,000 people, a far cry from 199,948 a decade ago. Lonmin is embarking on cutting 12,600 jobs as it closes old mines, while Impala Platinum (Implats) is reviewing mines in its flagship Impala Lease Area near Rustenburg as it accelerates the closure of old mines by “harvesting” them.

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Consol Drops Relisting Plan

Glass packaging firm Consol, which planned to ease its hefty debt burden by raising R3bn in fresh capital, has canned its proposed JSE flotation barely 10 days after publishing a pre-listing statement. On Wednesday, Consol announced that challenging market conditions had scuppered the listing and associated capital raising. It deemed the prevailing environment not conducive to the offer achieving valuation objectives and not in the company’s best interests.

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Transnet Loses Massive Pension Claims Case

Transnet and two pension funds have 20 court days within which to file a plea in answer to the class action claim by about 60‚000 Transnet pensioners. This follows a Constitutional Court judgment on Wednesday which dismissed exceptions to the claim raised by Transnet‚ the Transport Pension Fund and Transnet Second Defined Pension Fund a few years ago. The pensioners’ claim is based on a promise made to them in 1989 that they would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial entity‚ Transnet‚ as they did under the state entity that had employed them until then‚ the South African Transport Services (SATS)‚ and its two pension funds. The pension funds kept the promise until 2002‚ when the funds failed to grant any pension increases beyond the minimum of 2% per year. The pensioners had calculated that the debt owed to the two pension funds stood at R80-billion by March 2013. This figure is now higher.

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Forex Rigging Case To Start Next Year

Court proceedings against 18 banks accused of rigging the rand are likely to start next year, as prosecutors need time to prepare the complex case, the head of cartels at the Competition Commission said. The commission concluded an investigation last February into whether local and foreign banks colluded to coordinate their trading activities when giving quotes to customers who were buying or selling currencies.

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Manyi Repays Gupta’s In Full

Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi claims he has paid the Gupta family in full for ANN7 and The New Age newspaper. Manyi said in a statement released on Saturday that the original amount owed has been lowered after renegotiations. He said he made full settlement of what he still owed the Guptas. The Gupta’s Oakbay company had sold The New Age and ANN7 to Manyi for R450m.

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Construction Cartels Dealings Exposed

New testimony in the ongoing construction cartel prosecution case has revealed the day-to-day mechanics of rigging tenders on everything from hotels to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and the Gautrain. A witness for the Competition Commission has even revealed how cartel members fought with each other because other members were trying to “rip out the guts” of the Gautrain by demanding an embarrassingly high cover price from other cartel members.

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Supra’s R1.5m Cattle Gift To Zuma

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo gave Jacob Zuma a herd of cattle worth R1.5-million as a gift – and paid for it using public funds. The cows, which should have gone to emerging farmers in the province, were delivered to Nkandla and signed for by Zuma himself. Now the Hawks are investigating the scandal, which could lead to charges of fraud and corruption against Mahumapelo and the former president. Zuma is already facing 16 charges, including fraud, racketeering and money laundering, stemming from the multibillion-rand arms deal.

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SAP In Software Double Billing Scandal

Software giant SAP and the Department of Water and Sanitation are involved in a “double billing” scandal where hundreds of millions were wasted. The City Press reported that the department purchased R950 million in “unlimited” SAP software licences for itself, all nine water boards, and the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA). This five-year deal was concluded despite the water boards and the TCTA having contracts with different software companies and paying their own licence, maintenance, and support fees.

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Grace Mugabe In Dangote Bribery Scandal

A cabinet minister asked Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, for a $5-million bribe on behalf of the Mugabe family. Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao is said to have allegedly requested the bribe weeks after Dangote visited Zimbabwe in October 2015, the sources said. Zhuwao was the youth development and indigenisation minister at the time. It was allegedly contained in an e-mail from Zhuwao and informed Dangote that “as with all investors which come into Zimbabwe there was a need for him to secure his investments and grease elbows, and therefore a sum of $5-million is requested”.

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High Costs Force Private School Dropouts

South Africa’s top private schools have lost thousands of students over the last year due to rising school fees and other costs. According to a report by the Sunday Times, two of South Africa’s biggest private school chains, Curro and AdvTech, lost 3,881 pupils last year – mainly because parents could not afford to pay fees. In addition, both St John’s College in Parktown and St Stithians College in Sandton confirmed that they had seen a number of drop-outs as well as an increase in students who had fallen behind in school fees.

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Bus Strike Intensifies

The continued strike action comes as a result of failed wage negotiations between unions and employers over the course of a two-day meeting with the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Workers initially demanded a 12% increase and employers offered 7%. The workers have since rejected an offer of 8% for the first year, and 8.5% in the second year, instead proposing a 9.5% increase in the first year and 9% for the second.

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SA Banks Face Lawsuits Over Steinhoff

The Dutch Investors’ Association (VEB), which launched legal proceedings against Steinhoff International in January, has notified the three banks involved in Steinhoff’s Frankfurt listing that it is holding them liable for damages incurred by Steinhoff shareholders. The move by VEB stems from the role played by Absa, Barclays and Commerzbank in Steinhoff’s listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in November 2015.

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Shoprite And Checkers Will Offer Students 10% Discounts

Shoprite and Checkers announced that registered South African students can get 10% off at any Shoprite and Checkers stores starting next week Wednesday the 25th of April 2018. The student discount is valid for four days per month until the end of October, for all purchases up to a maximum of R1,500.

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Eskom Facing Coal Shortages

Seven Eskom power stations have coal stockpiles that are lower than the levels required‚ Parliament heard on Wednesday. Urgent authorisation had to be obtained from the Treasury to purchase more coal without having to go to tender‚ acting group executive for transmission Willie Majola told members of Parliament’s public enterprises committee. A recovery plan was in place and coal was also being moved from stations that had healthy stockpiles to stations that did not have sufficient stock.

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Andile Mazwai Resigns As Rebosis CEO

Rebosis Property Fund said on Wednesday its CEO, Andile Mazwai, had resigned and the firm would postpone the release of its interim financial results, sending shares down more than 10%. The company said in a statement its current Executive Deputy Chairman Sisa Ngebulana would be appointed as the interim CEO.

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Mark Lamberti Quits As Imperial CEO

Mark Lamberti has resigned as Imperial CEO‚ following an adverse judgment in the case brought by fired employee Adila Chowan‚ whom he called a “female employment equity candidate”. Imperial has promoted its chief financial officer‚ Osman Arbee‚ to succeed Lamberti as CEO on May 1.

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Audi And Porsche Raided Over Emissions Scandal

Porsche is the latest Volkswagen brand to be sucked into the ongoing diesel emissions cheating scandal that first erupted three years ago. German police and prosecutors raided a number of Audi and Porsche properties on Wednesday in search of documents as part of an investigation into two top Porsche executives and one former employee.

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Facebook Data Breach Affected 100,000 South Africans

Facebook has told SA’s information regulator that almost 100,000 people in the country were affected by its data leak — far more than estimated. Last week the information regulator said it would “proactively and voluntarily engage Facebook with regards to the alleged data breach”, and that it would ask the company to clarify the extent of the data leak and to state what corrective measures it was taking. This was after the personal information of about 87-million Facebook users – mostly in the US — was misused by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that obtained the data from a personality app.

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KPMG & Nkonki Fired By Auditor General

The auditor-general’s decision to terminate auditing contracts with KPMG will see the embattled audit firm excluded from doing any work for the country’s most valuable client. The auditor-general has control over auditing contracts that dwarf even the largest private-sector business. This is the first time it has terminated work with one of the big four audit firms. Also terminated is black-owned Nkonki, which has been implicated in Gupta-related controversies.

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Eskom Hits Optimum Coal With R105m Fine

Eskom has issued the Gupta-owned Optimum with a R105m fine for failing to deliver coal, which has spurred a supply shortage at the power utility. As Eskom grappled with the issue, alternative coal producers would benefit from a shortage of coal and come to the rescue of the power utility, as it sought to plug a gap in supplies at several of its stations.

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Bus Strike Causes Havoc

Thousands of commuters will wake up on Wednesday to the nationwide bus strike that is set to kick off at 05:30 while taxi and rail operators are bracing for crowds and long queues. Nationwide bus services such as MyCiTi in Cape Town, Putco, Rea Vaya and Gautrain bus service in Gauteng and Algoa Bus Company in the Port Elizabeth area are among those whose services will be suspended.

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Irregular Health Expenses Soar To R1.02 Billion

The Finance and Fiscal Commission (FFC) has criticised the national Department of Health for not doing more to ensure provincial health departments improve their audit outcomes. While provincial audit outcomes have improved since 2012-13, the pace of improvement has been slow, particularly over the past three years, the FFC’s provincial budget analysis manager Ghalieb Dawood told Parliament on Tuesday.

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Amazon Launches International Shopping

Amazon has launched its International Shopping experience in the Amazon Shopping App. International customers can now “browse and shop over 45 million eligible items that can be shipped to their country from the United States”, said Amazon. Customers can also choose from different shipping options and delivery speeds, depending on how quickly they want their package, it added.

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Cyrils Lions Go Investment Hunting

President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping a revitalised relationship between business and the government would enable SA to raise $100bn worth of investment over five years. On Monday he announced the appointment of special investment envoys to work at convincing investors of SA’s potential. They are former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and business representatives Jacko Maree and Phumzile Langeni.

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Molefe In Court To Fight Pension Repayment Order

The High Court in Pretoria is on Tuesday expected to hear arguments in the appeal application brought by former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Molefe wants the court to overturn a January ruling by the full bench of the court that ordered him to repay R11m in pension payments, which had been unlawfully paid to him by the Eskom Pension Fund.

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Gupta’s Saxonwald Compound Raided Again

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has moved to seize cars, aircraft and properties worth at least R250m belonging to the Guptas and their associates, allegedly bought with looted state funds. Assets include the Guptas’ elusive Bombardier jet, which landed at Lanseria airport on Friday after Export Development Canada (EDC), the Canadian bank that financed it, went to court to have it grounded.

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VBS’s Audited Statements Withdrawn

In another blow to two of the country’s top four audit firms, the curator of Venda Building Society Mutual Bank, Anoosh Rooplal, has announced the withdrawal of the bank’s 2017 audited financial statements. PwC was the internal auditor and KPMG the external auditor for the 2017 financial statements. Rooplal said the financial statements were withdrawn because “they contain material misstatements and are no longer considered to be reliable”.

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41c Hike Expected In May Petrol Price

On the current data, petrol is set for a rise of 41 cents a litre, diesel 48 cents, and illuminating paraffin 38 cents. In all of these increases, the movement in the exchange rate accounts for just four cents of the rise. Petroleum prices were largely flat in the first week of April, but spiked sharply as tensions escalated in Syria. The Middle East lies near many of the world’s key oil producers, and petroleum prices have historically been sensitive to instability in the region.

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Musks Boring Company Gets Hyperloop Funding

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. raised $113 million in equity to dig tunnels and develop a high-speed transportation system known as the hyperloop. The startup disclosed the investment in a U.S. securities filing on Monday. The financing round included 31 unnamed investors, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission document. More than 90 percent of financing came from Musk, and the rest from early employees, the Boring Co. said, adding that no venture capitalists or outside investors participated.

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Possible Criminal Record For Not Declaring Taxes

Taxpayers who do not submit their tax returns will end up with a criminal record, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Monday. In its statement, the revenue service said it had embarked on a new initiative with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute non-compliant taxpayers, including prominent South Africans, who have failed to submit returns.

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