Petro SA Board Asks For Business Rescue

The board of state-owned oil company PetroSA has asked its holding company, the Central Energy Fund (CEF), to place it under business rescue, raising questions over its status as a going concern. PetroSA has a projected loss of R2.2bn for the year to March 2017. This follows its record R14.6bn net operating loss in the 2014-15 financial year. Despite these losses, PetroSA paid out large performance bonuses to its executives at the end of 2016, linked to the Ikhewzi project, responsible for a near R15bn impairment in financial 2014-15

Source : https://goo.gl/3Co6f1

SAA Gets Court Order Against Strike

The Labour Court granted South African Airways (SAA) a final order against the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) and its members. This was after the court had granted an interim order in favour of the airline on 26 April. The order interdicts Sacca and its members from embarking on industrial action and declares the industrial action an unprotected strike.

Source : https://goo.gl/sC23kh

ABInBev To Launch Budweiser In South Africa

Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to launch Budweiser in SA, it said in its March quarter results on Thursday morning. The group’s overall revenue grew 3.7% to $12.9bn from the matching quarter in 2016.

Source : https://goo.gl/0Leykf

Eskom Ready To Report On CEO Nepotism Scandal

Eskom has finalised the report on its investigation into allegations that a stepdaughter of acting chief executive Matshela Koko benefited from contracts worth at least R1 billionFollowing reports that Koketso Choma, Koko’s stepdaughter, had scored the contracts, there were also allegations that the board had proposed to pay Molefe R30 million after he was at the helm of the power utility for about 18 months.

Source : https://goo.gl/SjbPq9

Whatsapp Blackout Causes Havoc

WhatsApp experienced downtime around the world, leaving many users unable to send and receive messages over the app for over two hours. Africa, Europe, South America and the US experienced downtime with WhatsApp hashtags #WhatsAppDown and #WhatsAppisDown trending on the social network.

Source : https://goo.gl/hr3CFn

indicators : Oil 50.36 – Rand/USD 13.50 – Rand/GBP 17.36 – Rand/EUR 14.73

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Joemat-Petersen Lies Exposed By Kubayi

The government has admitted for the first time that the secret disposal of 10.3-million barrels of SA’s strategic oil reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) in December 2015 had indeed been a sale and not a “rotation of stock”, as former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson repeatedly had asserted to justify her approval of the deal. Newly appointed Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi apologised to MPs and Parliament on Tuesday for their having been misled about the nature of the transaction. This was after DA energy spokesman Gordon Mackay expressed concern that the energy portfolio committee had been misled.

Source : https://goo.gl/7qiwSZ

S.A May Appeal Court Ruling On Nuclear

South Africa’s government may appeal last week’s court judgment declaring a cooperation pact with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom unlawful, the energy minister said on Tuesday. South Africa and Russia signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in 2014 for cooperation between Rosatom and South African utility Eskom, which aims to build 9 600 MW of nuclear capacity to wean the African nation off coal.

Source : https://goo.gl/cTKcIb

McDonalds Accused Of Overcharging Franchisees

McDonald’s should be investigated for gouging franchisees on rents and deceiving them about how the amounts are calculated, a labour union said in letters to two state attorneys general. US franchisees paid the world’s biggest fast-food chain more than $3bn in rents last year, a rate of return on McDonald’s real-estate investments that’s as much as triple the industry average. McDonalds has denied the allegations.

Source : https://goo.gl/gDDkhG

MTN Releases Encouraging Revenue Numbers

MTN has released its quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2017. The company stated that it currently serves approximately 237 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Group total revenue increased by 7.1%, with data revenues up 29.4% year-on-year. Data revenue contributed 20% to total revenue, said MTN.

Source : https://goo.gl/j0W4In

Look & Listen To Close Final Store

The Look & Listen at Hillfox Value Centre – the last one in South Africa – will soon close, marking the end of an era. Look & Listen was started nearly 50 years ago by Rob Ziegler. In February 2013, Look & Listen halted its online purchases, and in June 2014, the company was placed under business rescue.

Source : https://goo.gl/Rjzy4x

Indicators : Oil50.87 – Rand/USD 13.32 – Rand/GBP 17.16 – Rand/EUR 14.56

More Money Needed For Nkandla

Government is set to spend “millions” in taxpayers’ money on president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, according to a report by the Sunday Times. The Department of Public Works said that plans were in place to refurbish the property, repair “shoddy workmanship”, and address security concerns. While the assessment is not complete, the cost of additional upgrades and repairs could run into millions of rand.

Source : https://goo.gl/93Iv7s

PetroSA Board Told To Resign

Central Energy Fund (CEF) chairman Luvo Makasi has told the board of troubled state-owned oil company PetroSA to resign with immediate effect. Leadership and management instability have plagued CEF subsidiary PetroSA, which has suffered huge financial losses over the past three years. In a letter sent to the board at the end of March, Makasi said the CEF had been concerned for some time about the strategic direction, financial standing and management of PetroSA.

Source : https://goo.gl/WMuVx5

Cyril Ramaphosa Launches Presidential Bid

“Corruption must be rooted out” and anyone found guilty must be dealt with severely, Ramaphosa said at a memorial for the late ANC leader Chris Hani in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Allegations of families and people unduly influencing government appointments and contracts should be “of great concern” to the ANC, he said, adding that he supports a judicial commission of inquiry into charges of state capture.

Source : https://goo.gl/gLnXFY

Lynn Browne Blocks Brian Molefe Payout

The Sunday Times reported a fortnight ago that Molefe was due to get a R30.1-million golden handshake from Eskom. He told the newspaper that he was to be paid what was due to him but refused to give a figure. Brown said yesterday she could not support the payout because there was no justification for it. “I found the argument presented by the board lacking in legal rationale and it cannot be substantiated as a performance reward because Molefe has already been granted a performance bonus for his contribution to the turnaround of Eskom,” said Brown.

Source : https://goo.gl/xL5nZf

Net1 Denies Wrongdoing In Sassa Payments Saga

Net1 has come out with guns blazing in a bid to “set the record straight”, releasing a Sens announcement and links to 23 documents that it claims prove that accusations against the group have no merit. The documents, which include court rulings, relate to its controversial South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) contract to distribute social grants to 11-million recipients.

Source : https://goo.gl/MDbtPl

Venezuela Down To $10bn In The Bank

Venezuela only has $10 billion in reserves — the cash that’s intended to keep an economy stable and weather tough times. What’s worse: most of those reserves aren’t in hard cash. About $7 billion is in gold bars, which doesn’t make it easy to make payments. Venezuela has a lot of bills to pay soon. It owes $6 billion in debt payments for the rest of this year. There’s also no sign that the country’s lone source of revenue – oil exports – will be able to pay down those debts. Venezuela is running the risk of defaulting on its debt this year, meaning it wouldn’t be able to get more loans to pay for basics like food and medicine

Source : https://goo.gl/iIZHQC

Indicators : Oil 52.25 – Rand/USD 13.00 – Rand/GBP 16.59 – Rand/EUR 14.12

Helen Zille Defends Colonialism

Former DA leader and current premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, has caused  uproar on social media after tweeting her views on colonialism. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Zille said that people claimed that the legacy of colonialism was only negative, but insisted that there were positive effects as well. Specifically, the premier said that, thanks to colonialism, South Africa benefited from an independent judiciary, transport infrastructure and other modern social features.

Source : https://goo.gl/KZow9r

ADT and Fidelity Merger

Fidelity Security and US-based Tyco have concluded a R2 billion merger deal which will see the latter’s ADT security business become part of the South African Fidelity group. The new entity will be known as Fidelity ADT, and will be 100% South African and a 54.62% black-owned company. It will become one of the largest private security providers in the country. The new group now boasts 168 points of presence across Southern Africa, supports around 57,000 employees, and manages a fleet of 4,574 vehicles, absorbing ADT’s 365,000 residential, small-to-medium sized enterprises and larger commercial customers.

Source : https://goo.gl/rYqmEp

Mercedes To Build AMG Models In East London

Mercedes-Benz SA (MBSA) will begin building AMG derivatives at its East London plant from the second half of 2017. Models to be built at the East London plant will include the C43, C63 and C63 S sedan. They will be produced on the same production lines as the C-Class. But to maintain the hand-built nature of the engines, they will be assembled at the AMG plant in Affalterbach, Germany, and be shipped to SA.

Source : https://goo.gl/h94AUz

7000 Prasa Employees Threaten Strike

More than seven thousands workers at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) may down tools in two weeks following the deadlock over wage negotiation with their employer. Workers affiliated to South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and United National Transport Union (Untu) were vehemently opposed to the proposed 4.5 percent wage increment by their employer.

 

Source : https://goo.gl/DYQOkT

Trump Travel Ban Blocked By Judge

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam. The ruling was the second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle blocked it.

Source : https://goo.gl/URFMoJ

Ikea India Gives Employees 6 Months Paid Parental Leave

Ikea India has announced that all its employees in India — women and men — will be entitled to 26 weeks of paid parental leave on the birth of a child. The policy will also apply to employees who have children through surrogacy or adoption. And mothers will be able to work half days for 16 weeks on their return. Workers in Ikea’s home country of Sweden still have it better — companies there are required to offer up to 16 months of paid parental leave, of which three months are reserved for fathers.

Source : https://goo.gl/yM8kpC

Indicators : Oil 52.38 – Rand/USD 12.73 – Rand/GBP 15.57 – Rand/EUR 13.64

 

E-Toll Fees Quietly Increased By 6%

Sanral has announced increases for Gauteng e-toll gantries and other national toll roads in South Africa, which take effect as of 3 March. Some Sanral users – not all – received notification of the increases via e-mail on Friday (3 march), the day of the adjustments. The new tariff prices also do not provide any historical data of the prices, and their increases over a period of time. Sanral’s only justification was that the adjustments were published in the Government Gazette on 16 February. The e-toll tariff hikes are around 6% across the board, in line with inflation.

Source : https://goo.gl/iGrOM6

SAA Internal Investigations Have Cost Over R21m In 4 Years

Between the period 2013 and 2016 SAA have spent more than R21m on forensic and internal investigations, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a parliamentary response. The investigations are among other things into the irregular awarding of tenders, the leasing back of aircrafts, procurement transactions and allegations by whistle-blowers.

Source : https://goo.gl/ZmBMhE

Ascendis Buys Cipla Units For R375 Million

Ascendis is buying Cipla Agrimed and Cipla Vet for R375 million as it sees the deal as an “excellent strategic fit” for its Phyto-Vet division. Ascendis says its strategy is to create a synergistic group of health product brands that cover the value chain from imports of raw materials, manufacturing and distribution to consumers via retail and direct selling channels, spanning across human, plant and animal health.

Source : https://goo.gl/pioeby

Record Number Of Americans Forfeiting Their Citizenship

As the White House engages in a fierce fight to restrict travel into the U.S. by citizens of some Muslim-majority countries, a record number of Americans are voluntarily renouncing their citizenship. Last year, 5,411 people “expatriated” by renouncing their U.S. citizenship or terminating long-term residency in the U.S. This marks a 26 percent jump from the record set in 2015, when 4,279 individuals expatriated.

Source : https://goo.gl/a2nFm2

Ford Recalls More Kuga’s Over Brake Issue

Ford South Africa has issued new warning letters to owners of its 2.0-litre diesel-powered Kuga SUVs for to resolve a potential “brake problem”. The brake issue is said to affect 848 Kuga models, manufactured in Spain, built from 2014 to 2015, said Ford in an official statement.

Source : https://goo.gl/EHVccg

Cybercrime Could Cost The World R78 Trillion In 4 Years

The cybercrimes industry is expected cost business up to $6trn (R78trn) by 2021. The statistic was mentioned by Paolo Passeri, Cisco’s consulting systems engineer for cloud security, at the Cisco Connect South Africa conference currently being held in Sun City. He mentioned a recent case where a smart TV, powered by the Android operating system, was taken hostage by cybercriminals.

Source : https://goo.gl/mKAp5m

Indicators : Oil 55.86 – Rand/USD 12.98 – Rand/GBP 15.83 – Rand/EUR 13.73

 

SASSA And CPS Agree 2 Year Deal

Net1 UEPS subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) agreed to the terms of a new two-year contract, but these terms have to be agreed to by National Treasury, a report reveals. There were no details of exactly how much this new deal will cost but CPS claim that the amount is below the reported R25. The major stumbling block is that treasury has already said they wont sign off on an illegal deal so i dont understand how Bathabile Dlamini can claim that grants will definitely be paid when treasury refuses to comply.

Source : https://goo.gl/SvMpwj

Mercedes Recalls Cars Catching Fire

Daimler AG said it is recalling 1 million new-model Mercedes-Benz vehicles worldwide due to the risk of fire. Of the 1 million vehicles, 307,629 are in the United States. Of the 51 fires, 30 were reported in the US, said Mercedes-Benz. The report did not state which models are affected.

Source : https://goo.gl/vuYj47

Department Of Public Works To Discipline Officials Over Nkandla

The Department of Public Works has finally started to discipline officials implicated in the Nkandla scandal. The Special Investigating Unit reportedly recommended that 15 civil cases be opened, 44 criminal cases be opened, and 64 disciplinary processes be pursued against officials. 92 cases are pending or outstanding and 31 other cases have been finalised

Source : https://goo.gl/4QhQx6

New Welfare System For SA By 2019

South Africa plans to bring in a new welfare-payments system over the next two years and hasn’t yet signed a new interim contract with Net 1 UEPS Technologies, the government said. Cash Paymaster Services, a unit of Net 1, will continue making payments while new social-grants arrangements are implemented, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told reporters in Pretoria on Sunday.

Source : https://goo.gl/xu7bWm

Ford Working On 3D Printed Car Parts

Ford is using the Infinite Build system provided by Stratasys to test 3D printing in the vehicle manufacturing process. Advantages of 3D printing include cost-effective production and lighter components, as 3D printed car parts will weigh less than their cast metal counterparts. The technology is not fast enough for high-volume manufacturing yet, but is more cost-efficient for low-volume production.

Source : https://goo.gl/7ySnRO

Bitcoin Worth More Than Gold

Bitcoin’s price equaled that of an ounce of gold on Friday, trading at $1,238 per bitcoin. Gold’s price per ounce was $1,237. The move follows a break to new all-time highs for the price of bitcoin, which began the year by crossing the $1,000 mark.

Source : https://goo.gl/4uuZlg

Indicators : Oil 55.76 – Rand/USD 13.03 – Rand/GBP 15.97 – Rand/EUR 13.81

Cosatu Officialy Accept Minimum Wage

South Africa’s main labor union federation accepted a government-proposed minimum wage of about 3,500 rand ($268) a month. While Cosatu favored a minimum monthly salary of 4,500 rand a month, the government’s proposal “is still a significant starting base towards a living wage,”. The government said businesses that aren’t able to afford the minimum wage for a 40-hour week will be able to apply for an exemption. Africa’s most-industrialized economy, which has an unemployment rate of almost 27 percent, has 6.6 million people earning less than 3,500 rand monthly

Source : https://goo.gl/s0ysIJ

Bank Of Baroda Closes Gupta Accounts

Bank of Baroda is set to close the Gupta family’s bank accounts by the end of March following pressure from its parent company in India. Between February and September 2016, First National Bank, Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank closed the bank accounts of the Gupta family and their companies. The Bank of China followed suit.

Source : https://goo.gl/2YOY7Z

Country Bird To Close Local Abattoir 

Country Bird, South Africa’s third-largest chicken producer, is to close one of its three abattoirs as the local industry struggles to compete with cheap European imports, which it argues amount to dumping. South African farmers and labour unions say the EU is selling chicken legs, thighs and wings at below cost, pushing the local industry to the brink of collapse.

Source : https://goo.gl/u9r9sk

Standard Bank Denies Wrongdoing In Forex Collusion

Standard Bank’s CEO, Sim Tshabalala, says the bank is not setting aside any cash for a potential Competition Tribunal fine for alleged collusion by its currency traders as internal investigations have not revealed any wrongdoing. The investigation by the Competition Commission, which sought to prosecute 18 global and local banks for collusion among their currency traders to fix prices on rand to dollar trades, related to three people, he said. “We employ 55,000 people.”

Source : https://goo.gl/2voA7f

AB InBev Bosses Forfeit Bonuses

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has canned bonuses for most of its executive board because of the disappointing 2016 financial results. The move is expected to affect swathes of executives in the group which, after last year’s $103bn acquisition of SABMiller, now controls just more than 25% of the global beer market. South African executives will not be affected as the old SABMiller scheme will apply to them for the year.

Source : https://goo.gl/nk0zEm

Indicators : Oil 55.34 – Rand/USD 13.12 – Rand/GBP 16.01 – Rand/EUR 13.80