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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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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Schabir Shaik To Testify In Zuma Trial

Former President Jacob Zuma’s ex-financial advisor Schabir Shaik has confirmed that he has been approached by the Hawks and asked to testify in Zuma’s trial. Shaik was convicted of corrupting Zuma in 2005‚ and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released on medical parole on March 3‚ 2009 after serving just over two years of that sentence. A panel of medical experts had concluded that he was terminally ill. During his trial‚ Shaik remained adamant that the hundreds of payments he made to Zuma‚ then KwaZulu-Natal Tourism MEC and later deputy president‚ were either gifts or part of a revolving loan agreement.

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Gordhan Warns SARS Reshuffle Coming

The South African Revenue Service’s leadership team has no credibility and will soon be changed, according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. “It’s out there in the public domain that leadership team has lost all credibility and the time for change, it should be sooner rather than later,” said Gordhan, who clashed with Moyane over the management of the tax authority when he was finance minister. Getting the revenue service right, “is not too far away,” he said.

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Gupta VAT Refunds Under Question

Tax boss Tom Moyane aided possible acts of money laundering and fraud while contravening the VAT and Tax Acts when he allegedly pressured SARS officials to illegally effect three VAT payments to the Guptas into the account of a third party. Within two weeks from Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd director Ronica Ragavan’s first “urgent” request dated 22 May 2017, SARS paid the first of three VAT payments amounting to R70-million. Two smaller VAT payments were pushed through in July and August 2017.

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Toll Road Workers TO GO On Strike

National routes across the country are expected to be affected by a toll workers strike on Monday morning. The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) said in a statement on Sunday that its members who were employed by Intertoll Africa, a subsidiary of Group 5, will embark on a national strike on Monday from 6am. Routes affected are the N1 from South Grasmere Plaza to Free State, N4 from Magalies to Rustenburg and N2 from Mthunzini to Othangathi

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ANN7 Wants Free To Air License

ICASA said it has received four applications for Individual Commercial Free-to-Air Television Broadcasting Service Licences. Among the applicants is Infinity Media Networks, the parent of former Gupta-owned news network ANN7. The company previously applied for a free-to-air TV licence in 2014, during ICASA’s last Invitation to Apply.

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Gupta’s Dubai Hospital Plans Exposed

The poor in North West and Free State were fleeced to build a billion-dollar hospital for the rich in Dubai, in a plan concocted by the Gupta family. Out of the R954 charged per patient for screening by healthcare provider Mediosa, R650 was to be paid to subcontracted companies from Dubai. The money would then be funnelled into the companies’ United Arab Emirates bank accounts, from where it would be used to fund the Guptas’ new business venture: Dubai Healthcare City.

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Esidimeni Hearings Could Cost R47Million

The total cost of the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings is expected to cost the Gauteng government around R47-million in total. This was disclosed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in a written a reply to questions in the Gauteng legislature, Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said. So far, the alternative dispute resolution process has cost R15.7-million. More than half the expense has been spent on the Emoyeni Conference Centre as the venue for the hearings, which cost R8.4-million.

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VBS Bank Placed Under Curatorship

The South African Reserve Bank has put tiny VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship. The bank ran into severe liquidity trouble after it failed to act on repeated warnings that its dependence on unlawful municipal deposits put it at risk. VBS had continued to take deposits from municipalities, even after the Treasury warned six municipalities in August that it was illegal in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act for them to bank with mutual banks.

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Vodacom And MTN Subscribers Pay 26000% More For Out Of Bundle Data

Vodacom’s prepaid data prices are up to 200% more expensive than comparable contract prices. The situation is worse when comparing in-bundle and out-of-bundle prices, with OOB prices between 580% and 2,600% more expensive. MTN, in turn, charges up to 234% more for prepaid data bundles than for comparable contract products.

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Mugabe Wants Pension In Cash

Although there is almost no cash inside banks or at ATMs in Zimbabwe, and at times it’s a struggle to receive change at supermarkets because most people pay for their groceries with electronic cash, Robert Mugabe is demanding his massive pension payout in cash. The monthly payment of Mugabe’s tax free pension in cash is estimated to be more than R150 000 a month since he has commuted R5.5million from the state’s pension fund.

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Toys R Us Could Go Out Of Business 

Bankrupt retailer Toys “R” Us may shut all its US stores as soon as next week, according to several reports. And everything isn’t awesome for privately held European toy giant Lego either. The plastic bricks maker reported its first sales drop in thirteen years earlier this week. So these are clearly tough times for the toy makers. Toys “R” Us recently went into administration in the UK, paving the path for stores there to shut their doors.

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Supersports Influence In Rugby Under Question

SuperSport’s influence on South African rugby is at the centre of SA Rugby’s upcoming elections. The unions reportedly argued that SuperSport’s minority share interest in the Sharks and the Cheetahs “provides it a platform to influence major rugby decisions”. A source told the Sunday Times that SuperSport – which is the broadcast rights holder of rugby in the country – was wielding its power behind the scenes.

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Gupta Brothers Have Multiple Passports

The Gupta brothers each have multiple South African passports that will enable them to continue to travel for some time. Citing copies of computer records from the home affairs department, Rapport said that a valid passport was delivered to Dubai as early as three weeks ago for Ajay Gupta’s wife Chetali – her third passport.

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Ramphosa Grounds Ministers & Deputies

Reshuffling the Cabinet would be handled with speed, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Sunday after a special meeting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) in Pretoria. Cyril Ramaphosa has also instructed all cabinet ministers and their deputies not to travel overseas until further notice which has fueled rumors of an imminent new cabinet announcement.

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Black Panther Flies Past $700 Million

Black Panther was the number one film in the U.S. for the second weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $108 million at the box office. “Black Panther” becomes only the fourth film ever to cross $100 million in its second weekend, joining “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Avengers.” It is the second highest second weekend for a film behind only “Force Awakens.” Black Panther has also crossed the $700 million mark globally in just two weekends of release and will cross $400 million domestically on Sunday, its 10th day of release. The film has yet to open in China or Japan.

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Evander Mine To Retrench 1722 Workers

Evander Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Pan African Resources, is set to retrench 1722 mineworkers in Mpumalanga. The miner has served the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with Section 189(3) notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench the workers. The company informed NUM that the retrenchments were as a result of an old mine with deteriorating and inadequate infrastructure, high operating costs such as rising electricity, labour costs, and a low gold price.

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VW Settles US Emissions Lawsuit

Volkswagen AG came to an agreement to settle a lawsuit over the company’s marketing of clean-emissions vehicles, resolving a contentious fight over consumer fraud claims just before it was about to go to trial. The suit was dismissed on Friday by Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce D. White on agreement of the parties, before it was scheduled to begin Feb. 26 in Virginia, according to a copy of the filing provided by Michael Melkersen, lawyer for plaintiff David Doar, owner of a 2014 Jetta.

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Samsung S9 And S9+ Prices Released

Technomobi and Dion Wired have opened pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The smartphones – which are set to arrive in South Africa in March – are priced as follows at both retailers with the Galaxy S9 retailing at R15,499 while the S9+ will sell for R17,999

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CemAir AMO Suspension Lifted

SACAA announced on Saturday that it has lifted, with immediate effect, the suspension of CemAir’s AMO approval. This was after CemAir’s successful completion of a five-phase certification process that included, among others, document evaluation and demonstration phases. “Whilst CemAir has successfully regained its AMO approval privileges, the status quo relating to their 12 aircraft remains the same – meaning that the aircraft are yet to be declared as airworthy by the SACAA and released back to service,” SACAA said in a statement.

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VAT And Excise Duty Hikes In Budget 2018

64% of the R36bn of extra revenue is coming from a 1% VAT hike to 15%, 12% is from excise duty hikes and 19% coming from personal income tax adjustments and 3.4% from fuel levy hike. There will be R57billion allocated for free higher education for students from households earning less than R350 000 a year.

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Zwane To Face Own State Capture Inquiry

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane will be subjected to a full-scale state capture inquiry by the parliamentary portfolio committee on mineral resources and could be summonsed to answer questions after his repeated failure to appear before the committee. Zwane has been linked to dodgy interactions with the Guptas as a Free State MEC when R150m was stolen in a failed dairy project.

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Strike At Optimum Coal Mine

Work at the Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga came to a standstill on Wednesday as workers marched to hand over a memorandum of grievances to CEO George van der Merwe. The mine supplies coal to power utility Eskom for its power generation.

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Michael Jordaan To Launch Bank Zero

Bank Zero, which in January said it got a provisional license from the central bank and has 10 staff, isn’t going to lend out money. Instead it’s going to encourage South Africans to save through attractive interest rates. With a mutual bank structure, which is funded by its members, the Johannesburg-based Bank Zero is entirely backed by its founders and will offer customers with smartphones an app and a card.

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Uber Teams Up With Toyota On Self Driving Cars

The world’s largest car maker and the world’s biggest ride-hailing company plan to team up on autonomous driving as technological changes sweep through the transportation industry. Uber and Toyota have given few details of their collaboration on autonomous technology before, though both have been active in the field separately. Toyota bought a stake in Uber in 2016, without disclosing the size or the reason for the investment.

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