“President Ramaphosa has determined that there will be no annual salary increase for the Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces,” the presidency said. Members of provincial legislatures will, however, receive a 2.5% salary increase. This is a great move but in my view, there should be no bonuses either but there was no mention of what will happen in that regard.
Shivambu’s R1.46 Million VBS Home Loan
Despite not qualifying for a loan, VBS Mutual Bank gave Brian Shivambu’s company Sgameka a R1,46m home loan after his brother Floyd Shivambu had private discussions with VBS chair and kingpin in the bank robbery Tshifhiwa Matodzi, leaked emails show. This VBS home loan was given to Sgameka Trading on top of the illicit R16,1-million that Brian Shivambu received in a fronting scheme on behalf of his brother, EFF president Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters. When asked about the home loan, Floyd Shivambu had this to say, “Fraudulent activities are dealt with by the criminal justice system and not some imaginations of a lousy journalist… I think your narrative is bullshit and pure drivel driven by narrow obsession. Please give me the proof that I received R10-million from VBS.” Personally, i think there is a lot for Shivambu to answer for and these allegations keep piling up. Thus far he hasn’t provided any evidence to clear himself and its getting worse.
Crunch Brexit Vote Looms
With less than 48 hours to go before May faces the reckoning of her MPs, few of the 100-plus rebels who have vowed to vote against her deal showed any sign of altering their positions. The prime minister is under intense pressure from aides and senior ministers to considering pulling the vote on Tuesday, a move Downing Street has emphatically denied will happen, though a final decision is unlikely to be made until the 11th hour.
National Minimum Wage Of R20 From 1 January
The national minimum wage will kick in on January 1, meaning no South African worker will earn less than R20 an hour in the new year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Friday. My hope is that there will be minimal job losses but the fact is that the economy is struggling and businesses are feeling the strain. There will most definitely be more job losses.
House Prices Down 21% Since 2007
In real terms, including the impact of inflation, house prices have declined by 20.8% since August 2007, the peak of the pre-2008 boom period. This is according to November’s FNB House Price Index, published by John Loos, now property sector strategist at the bank’s commercial property finance division. Property intelligence outfit Lightstone reports even lower house price inflation, at just 3.5% in its latest report (for October). FNB saw (downwardly) revised growth of 4.1% in October.
America Opens Case Against Huawei CFO
On Friday, the U.S. began a market-shaking case against the Chinese telecoms giant in a Vancouver courtroom, alleging that Meng had hidden ties between Huawei and a company called Skycom that did business in Iran, said a lawyer representing Canada during the court hearing. Canada is presenting the case on behalf of the U.S., which wants to extradite Meng. Meng, 46, daughter of Huawei’s founder, spent the weekend in jail after a decision on whether to grant bail was not reached. The case will continue today.