IEC Strike Averted

A potential strike by permanent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) workers belonging to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has been averted. Nehawu and the commission reached an agreement after two days of marathon negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues. Workers had threatened not to report for duty on Wednesday, which may have disrupted voting on election day.

Source

Steinhoff To Present Restated 2017 Financials

Steinhoff is set to release its restated and audited financial results for 2017 on Tuesday, giving investors insight into how a yearlong forensic probe by PwC has altered the multinational retailer’s financial position. The Stellenbosch-headquartered retailer has not made the full PwC report public, but published an 11-page overview stating that a “small group” of former executives inflated the group’s profit and asset values for years.

Source

Boeing Admits 737 Max Mistakes

Boeing on Sunday said that a key alert system linked to faulty sensors was sold as an optional feature on Boeing 737 MAX planes. Boeing has taken heat in recent months, following the crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, which both featured Boeing 737 MAX planes. Investigators have linked the crashes to a sensor called the angle of attack (AOA), which delivered faulty readings and triggered a mechanism on the MAX planes to automatically push the nose of the plane downwards, causing them to plummet.

Source

System Crash At OR Tambo Causes Chaos

Passengers boarding international flights subsequently queued behind the check-in desks of Terminal A, with the line of passengers stretching all the way to Terminal B. Airport staff moved throughout the line attempting to get passengers onto their flights on time, while others took the opportunity to ask people for tips in return for helping them make it through immigration in time for their flights. At the time of reporting on this issue, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) did not provide comment on the problem, but OR Tambo management has subsequently released a statement on the issue.

Source

New R1.2 Billion Pretoria Mall Gets Green Light

McCormick Property Development (MPD) has announced that it will begin moving ahead with Capital Mall, a R1.2 billion mega-development in Pretoria West. The development has been stuck in limbo, but an appeal to halt the development was overturned during a sitting of the City of Tshwane’s Municipal Appeals Tribunal (MAT) in April, the developers said. The development node includes a 150-bed private hospital, value retail centre, motor dealerships, affordable housing, student housing, schooling and community facilities

Source

Currencies : Rand/USD 14.46 – Rand/GBP 18.96 – Rand/EUR 16.21

Advertisements

iPhone Sales Drop At Record Pace

Sales of Apple’s iPhones fell at their steepest-ever rate, according to data for the three months to the end of March. The firm said revenue from the iPhone dropped by 17%, compared with the same period a year earlier, to $31bn. However, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said sales were stronger towards the end of March, including in China where it cut iPhone prices to boost demand.

Source

Most State Owned Companies Show Improvement

A Moneyweb analysis on the latest results of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) shows that most performed satisfactorily in the year to March 2018, but 13 of the 30 are still performing dismally. Nine of these – Eskom, SAA, SA Express, the SABC, the Post Office, Denel, roads agency Sanral, PetroSA and passenger rail agency Prasa – continue to bleed so much cash they dwarf the positive results from the rest. The nine struggling companies posted total losses of nearly R20 billion over the 12 months.

Source

MTN Plans To Sell Jumia Stake

MTN Group Ltd. plans to sell at least half of its $655 million interest in newly listed Jumia Technologies AG as Africa’s biggest wireless carrier looks to pay down debt and enter new markets. A selldown of the 19 percent stake in the online retailer could happen before the end of the year, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous as the deliberations are private. Johannesburg-based MTN first needs to wait out a half-year investor lock-in period that followed Jumia’s successful share sale in New York, they said.

Source

Congestion Tax And Other Road Taxes Planned

The Department of Transport plans to introduce a number of regulatory changes in an effort to cut down on South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Transport said that it will prepare the following regulatory actions targeted at encouraging the modal shift from road to rail and from private vehicle use to public transport: Congestion tax, Environmental levy, Car life limits etc

Source

Putin Signs Russia Private Internet Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the law on providing stable operation of the Russian Internet (Runet) in case it is disconnected from the global infrastructure of the World Wide Web. Under the legislation, assuming it actually works in practice, the government would deal with “threats to the stable, safe and integral operation of the Russian Internet on Russian territory” by centralizing “the general communications network.” Put more simply, the law sets in train plans for an alternative domain name system (DNS) for Russia in the event that it is disconnected from the World Wide Web, or, one assumes, in the event that its politicians deem disconnection to be beneficial. Internet service providers would be compelled to disconnect from any foreign servers, relying on Russia’s DNS instead.

Source

Druglords Mistakenly Send Elderly Couple R100m In Meth

An elderly couple in Australia were the surprise recipients of an illegal drug shipment after signing for a wrongly delivered parcel containing millions of dollars’ worth of methamphetamine, police said Thursday. The Melbourne couple immediately called police when they discovered bags containing the white powder in the parcel on Wednesday, a police spokesman said. The package contained what police said were 20 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of AU$10 million (R100 million).

Source

Currencies : Rand/USD 14.44 – Rand/GBP 18.85 – Rand/EUR 16.18

 

 

SARS Goes After Top ANC Officials

Top officials, politicians and businessmen of the ANC are facing tax claims of more than R250m on income earned from Bosasa, the services company at the heart of a widespread corruption scandal, the Johannesburg Sunday Times reports. Those on the list include Dudu Myeni, Nomvula Mokonyane, Vincent Smith and Zack Modise. Angelo Agrizzi, Bosasa’s chief operating officer from 1999 to 2016, is set to continue his testimony at the state capture commission and it’s alleged that he has more explosive evidence to provide which could take down more people. It’s a tough time being an ANC member

Source

DA and ANC In Election Trouble According To Polling Data

The poll, conducted between March and April 2019 using a demographically representative sample of over 3,600 people, continues a trend seen in many other pre-election polls – showing a drop in support for the DA and ANC, while support for the EFF rises. According to the latest results, published by the City Press, the ANC’s support has dropped from around 61% in its March poll to 56.9% in April. This is down from a 62.2% share of the vote in the 2014 national election. The DA has dropped even further from 18% in March to just 15% in April. The DA secured 22% of the vote in the 2014 elections, so should these snapshots carry through to the election, it would represent a significant drop in support.

Source

54c/l Petrol Price Jump For May

The price of petrol will increase by 54c/l at midnight on Tuesday, the department of energy confirmed on Sunday. The price was adjusted on the basis of local and international factors. “International factors include the fact that South Africa imports both crude oil and finished products at a price set at the international level, including importation costs,” the department said in a statement. Petrol will increase by 54c/l, diesel with 0.05% sulphur will increase by 1c/l, while the price of diesel with 0.005% sulphur will remain unchanged, the department said.

Source

Uber Set For Year’s Biggest IPO

Over the past decade, Uber Technologies Inc. proved itself to be one of the most prolific young fundraisers ever. It pulled together more than $20 billion from private investors. After burning through more than half that amount in just the last three years, Uber will soon see whether it can recreate that magic on the stock market. The ride-hailing company entered the final stretch of the ultimate capital-raising exercise on Friday, when it disclosed details of an initial public offering expected to net the company and its backers another $8 billion or more. Executives and bankers plan to hit the road next week to promote the stock to public investors and then ring the bell on the New York Stock Exchange floor on May 10, when the shares start trading, according to a plan obtained by Bloomberg.

Source

Pick n Pay Earnings Up 26.1%

Retailer Pick n Pay said on Friday its diluted headline earnings per share were up 26.1% during the 53 week weeks to March 3 and declared a final dividend of 192 cents per share. The company also said Aboubakar Jakoet would be retiring as group chief finance officer of the Pick n Pay but had agreed to remain in the post until a successor was appointed. Pick n Pay said its South Africa performance mitigated some operating challenges experienced outside its borders, with earnings from the Rest of Africa division down 16.2% year-on-year, reflecting difficult economic conditions in Zambia and the once-off impact of currency devaluation in Zimbabwe.

Source

Military Spending Around The World Booming

 

THE WORLD is arming itself to the teeth. That is the conclusion of a new report published on April 29th by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a think-tank. Global military spending last year rose to $1.8trn, says SIPRI—the highest level in real terms since reliable records began in 1988, during the cold war, and 76% higher than in 1998, when the world was enjoying its “peace dividend”. Military spending as a share of global GDP has fallen in recent years, but that offers little reassurance in a world of rising geopolitical tension.

Source

Currencies : Rand/USD 14.38 – Rand/GBP 18.60 – Rand/EUR 16.04

 

 

Featured

Shocking Revelations From PIC Inquiry

Evidence heard so far from past and present employees has painted a bleak picture of the quality of PIC’s internal governance standards. It has also shone a light on claims of undue influence wielded by the asset manager’s former head, Dan Matjila.Two senior PIC executives were suspended in the first week of the inquiry – the group’s Head of Listed Investments, Fidelis Madavo and its Assistant Portfolio Manager, Victor Seanie. The pair learnt of their suspensions on the morning of the same day that Madavo testified. They were suspended following a probe of their roles in the PIC’s R4.3bn investment in AYO Technology Solutions in 2017. AYO is linked to businessman Survé. Survé has denied there was anything wrong with the deal.

Source

Boeing Admits Fault Caused Crashes

Boeing has admitted a key sensor malfunctioned on an Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed, killing all 157 people on board. An investigation found the pilots complied with procedure but “were not able to control” Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 after it nosedived on March 10.

Source

Facebook To Be Fined For Terrorist Content

Technology firms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter face “substantial” fines or a U.K. ban under a new law if they don’t act swiftly enough to remove content that encourages terrorism and child sexual exploitation and abuse. The companies’ directors could also be held personally liable if illegal content is not taken down within a short and pre-determined time-frame, the Home Office said. The exact level of fines will be examined during a 12 week consultation following the legislation’s launch on Monday. The spread of fake news and interference in elections will also be tackled.

Source

Eskom Power Situation Set To Get A Lot Worse

An electricity-supply crisis is looming in South Africa that could make intermittent outages in the past few months seem trivial by comparison. Eskom, which supplies almost all the nation’s power, will lose more than a quarter of its current generating capacity over the next decade as it shuts ageing coal-fired plants. Replacing that output and adding capacity needed to meet rising demand will take years and cost more than R1 trillion, according to government estimates. The problem is likely to worsen exponentially after 2030 as more plants reach retirement age.

Source

Zimbabwe To Compensate White Farmers After Land Grabs

Zimbabwe plans to complete land valuations by the end of May to determine the level of compensation to be paid to former white commercial farmers who lost their properties during the government’s land reform programme. “Given the significant progress made to date, it is anticipated that that this comprehensive farm improvements valuation exercise will be completed by end of May,” the government said in a statement on Sunday.

Source

Currencies : Rand/USD 14.17 – Rand/GBP 18.52 – Rand/EUR 15.91

Featured

No Salary Increases For Ministers

“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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

 

 

 

Zuma To Make First Court Appearance

Almost 11 years after he was first served an indictment in the graft case against him, former president Jacob Zuma will finally have his day in court on Friday when he appears in the High Court in Durban. Zuma is facing 16 charges — one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

Source

Steinhoff Drops Director Bonuses Plans

Steinhoff International Holdings NV shelved a plan to pay director bonuses after lawmakers questioned whether it was appropriate to release extra funds given the retailer has lost more than 90% of its market value amid an accounting scandal. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US was planning to ask shareholders to approve payouts to board members including Chairman Heather Sonn as a reward for their work trying to keep the company afloat.

Source

Unpaid Etolls Now Valued At R9.2 Billion

President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken charge of Gauteng’s e-toll headache, bringing hope that the impasse between motorists and the provincial government could soon be resolved. In November 2017, motorists in the province owed R9.2bn. Motorists claim the funding model was not adequately canvassed and the levy will further impoverish poor workers. Gauteng Premier David Makhura in February conceded that the highly contested e-tolls system was a failure. He said a new model was needed to fund road development.

Source

Consol Glass To relist On JSE

Glass packaging manufacturer Consol Holdings on Thursday announced its intention to list its issued ordinary shares on the main board of the JSE. Consol, which provides glass packaging products to customers in a variety of industries including beer, wine, flavoured alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, spirits and food, said it expects to be listed in the Industrials: Containers and Packaging sector of the JSE.

Source

Govt Wage Bill Now At R587 Billion

Government’s public wage bill has become so big, that it’s fast becoming the single-biggest problem in the budget – siphoning funding from other vital functions, like service delivery. As it stands, the government wage bill is almost a full third of the annual budget, sitting at R587 billion. National Treasury has warned that the size of the public sector wage bill needed to be reined in as departments were starting to hit their “compensation ceilings”, noting further that public sector wages had increased 10.3% annually since 2009, significantly higher than the rate of inflation.

Source

Sappi Signs Govt Power Plant Deal

Sappi has signed an agreement with the Department of Energy to build a renewable energy plant at its mill in Mpumalanga. Sappi and consortium partners KC Africa and African Rainbow Energy and Power would spend a combined R1.8bn on a 25MW biomass energy unit at the company’s Ngodwana mill, said Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel. Sappi will have a 30% stake in the facility, which is expected to contribute to the national grid from July 2020.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R82,576 . Ether R4,722 . R/USD12.01 . R/GBP16.80 . R/EUR14.69

 

 

72c Petrol Price Jump Next Month

Fuel prices in Gauteng are set to go up by 72 cents a litre for 95 octane petrol, 69 cents for 93 octane petrol, and 65 cents for both grades of diesel. The main reasons for the fuel price adjustments are due to the increase in the fuel and road accident fund levies of 22 cents per liter and 30 cents per litre, respectively.

Source

R20Million For Magashule Farewell Party

Former premier Ace Magashule handed over to new Premier, Sisi Ntombela, at a farewell bash attended by several ministers in Bloemfontein on Wednesday. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) charge the celebration cost government R20 million. Magashule, the African National Congress (ANC)’s newly-appointed Secretary General, leaves behind an office filled with scandal since he assumed office in May 2009.

Source

EFF Guns For Athol Trollip

Eyes will be on a sitting of the Nelson Mandela Bay council on Thursday as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) tries to remove mayor Athol Trollip. The red berets filed a motion of no confidence against Trollip earlier this month following the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s decision not to support a motion on land expropriation without compensation which was a passed in the National Assembly.

Source

Interest Rates Cut By 25 Basis Points

South Africa’s Reserve Bank cut its benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent on Wednesday, saying the risks to the inflation outlook had subsided. “While the increase in the value-added tax rate to 15 percent places temporary upside pressure on inflation, this is mitigated by the stronger exchange rate which has contributed to the changing inflation risk profile,” Governor Lesetja Kganyago told a news conference.

Source

 

Cape Town Wants 27% Increase In Water Tariff

Cape Town’s executive mayor Patricia de Lille has called for a massive increase in water tariffs across the city. Presenting the city’s budget speech on Wednesday (28 March), de Lille said that the tariffs are set annually to ensure that the city can deliver the level of services required by the its residents.

Source

SASSA Wont Cover Beneficiary Banking Fees

Grindrod Bank announced on Wednesday that as of April 1‚ the South African Security Agency (Sassa) will no longer carry the cost of bank accounts of recipients – putting the burden of those costs onto grant recipients. Grindrod provides banking services for Sassa grant recipients‚ paying 17-million grants to 10.6-million cardholders‚ amounting to R11-billion per month.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R94,220 . Ether R5,199 . R/USD11.75 . R/GBP16.56 . R/EUR14.49