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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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Microsoft Hits $1 Trillion Valuation

Microsoft shares jumped to record levels on Thursday, with the company’s stronger-than-expected March quarter results lifting its market capitalisation “to $1trn and beyond,” Analysts were broadly positive on the results, with most pointing to the rapid growth in Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing business. UBS wrote that the results suggested that “there’s lots more opportunity ahead,” while Evercore ISI raved that Microsoft “should remain a stock for all seasons.” Shares climbed as much as 5.1%, allowing Microsoft to regain the title of largest US stock.

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Cyclone Kenneth Makes Landfall In Mozambique

Cyclone Kenneth hit the north coast of Mozambique in Cabo Delgado province after swiping the Comoros. The UN warned of flash flooding and landslides. Some parts of the city are in darkness, and strong winds have felled trees and destroyed boats. “The Cyclone is expected to bring heavy rains in the area for several days, with over 600 millimetres rainfall expected.” That volume of rain would be nearly double the 10-days accumulated rainfall that caused flooding in Beira during Cyclone Idai. Forecasters at Meteo-France warned that Kenneth could trigger waves off Mozambique’s northeastern shore as much as five metres (16 feet) higher than usual.

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Glencore Under Investigation For Corruption

Glencore said it’s under investigation by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for possible corrupt practices, the latest legal headache for the world’s biggest commodity trader. The probe comes after the London-listed company was subpoenaed last year by the US Justice department for documents relating to its dealings in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela since 2007.

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New R50 And R500 Coins Launched

The South African Mint has unveiled a set of new R50 and R500 collector coins, celebrating the country’s 25 years of democracy. “This week 25 years ago, South Africans went to the polls in the country’s first democratic elections following the end of apartheid rule. To commemorate this milestone, the SA Mint has issued new collectable coins in base metal, sterling-silver and pure gold,” the group said. The new collector coins feature a R50 sterling silver, R50 bronze alloy and R500 pure gold coin, all of which feature designs from South Africa’s young designers.

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Ombudsman Releases Companies Blacklist

The Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman Office (CGSO) has decided to name and shame companies that have failed to cooperate with its office in relation to monies being paid and goods or services not being delivered or provided. The CGSO warned that consumers should be cautious when dealing with these companies.

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Currencies : Rand/USD 14.39 – Rand/GBP 18.57 – Rand/EUR 16.03

Comair Workers To Go On Strike

Ahead of the Easter weekend rush, staff of Comair affiliated with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) have issued their employer with a 48-hour notice to strike. The union said in a statement on Tuesday that workers would down tools over wage disparities at the airline. Comair operates British Airways in SA under licence and low-cost carrier kulula.com.

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New Kusile Unit Powers Up Ahead Of Schedule

For the first time on Sunday Kusile Unit 3 produced power, according to an internal memo to Eskom staff. According to the note from Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer, sent out to staff on Monday, the synchronisation of the unit happened eight months ahead of the scheduled December 2019. This is the third out of six Kusile units which have been synchronised to the national grid. “The first synchronisation of Unit 3 marks a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the unit.

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Audi Announces New Models

The Audi A3 range gains two new special editions in its line-up – the Audi A3 Comfort Edition and A3 Black Edition. The Audi A3 Comfort Edition is applicable to only 30 TFSI (1.0-litre) engines and is aimed at providing comfort features with a cost-saving benefit to customers, Audi said. The package includes a different design 17-inch wheel, partial leather upholstery, LED headlights, parking aid sensors in the front and rear, black headlining and a storage package for the interior.

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Western Union Now Available On ABSA App

Absa says it has now made CashSend and payments via Western Union available on its app, claiming a banking first for South Africa. “Absa is the only Western Union partner to offer the international cash send payment service via online and cellphone banking. This game-changing development is part of Absa’s broader ambition of providing customers with a powerful blend of affordability, ease of use of digital platforms and a focus on safety and security.

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EOH Share Price Jumps After Restructuring

EOH’s share price rose by 55.76% on Tuesday as the company reported its financial results for the six months ended January 31. The company reported a loss for the six months of R3.3-billion mainly owing to one-off costs and impairments, while revenue stayed steady at R8.19-billion.

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BMW To Recall 360,000 Cars Over Airbag Malfunction

Germany’s BMW will recall 360,000 vehicles in China as part of the worldwide effort to root out defective airbags made by now-defunct Japanese supplier Takata, regulators in Beijing said. Around 20 people have died in accidents linked to defects in Takata airbags since 2013, prompting a massive worldwide recall of at least 100 million cars from a wide range of manufacturers. The recall will affect nearly 273,000 models built by BMW’s joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Brilliance Automotive and more than 87,000 imported BMW cars, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said.

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Currencies : Rand/USD 13.99 – Rand/GBP 18.27 – Rand/EUR 15.81

Another Petrol Price Jump In May

Unexpectedly strong international fuel prices have raised the likelihood of an unwelcome fuel price hike for petrol users in May. he figures suggests that petrol may increase by 56c a litre in May,  while diesel is showing a reduction of 5c and illuminating paraffin is down by a cent. If the increases take place it  will be the third successive increase in fuel prices in 2019.

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Govt To Regulate Air BnB Over Tourism Concerns

Government will regulate Airbnb and other home-sharing apps in South Africa, amid growing concerns that they are damaging to the tourism sector. The amendment will also allow the minister to specify ‘thresholds’ when it comes to Airbnbs in South Africa. This could include limits on the number of nights that a guest can stay or even how much income an Airbnb earns

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CompCom Investigates Spar Group

Spar is being investigated by the Competition Commission after it allegedly removed certain brands of locally-produced cigarettes from its shelves. Sunday Times makes reference to two internal emails from a senior manager stating the retailer shouldn’t stock certain brands, citing an Ipsos study. The cigarettes are from the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association, or Fita. The study, commissioned by rival industry body the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (Tisa), found certain brands were being sold at below the excise tax threshold.

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Middle Class SA Drowning In Debt

South Africa’s middle-income consumers spend an average of 25% of their take-home monthly income to pay interest accumulated on debt. This was the major finding in a new analysis of FNB retail banking customers who earn between R7,000 and R60,000 per month. FNB said that its data paints a picture of households that are heavily reliant on unsecured debt to get through each month.

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Notre Dame Cathedral Partially Destroyed In Fire

Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral has been saved from “total destruction,” according to a French fire official, after a massive fire ripped through the structure on Monday and caused the roof and main spire to collapse. The blaze burned for eight hours, but has now been largely extinguished, according to firefighters. One official was quoted as saying the two iconic rectangular towers have been saved, which will come a relief after one of the towers caught fire earlier in the evening. Earlier, a French Interior Ministry official had said that firefighters might not be able to save the cathedral.

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Black Asset Management Company Coming

Former Liberty chief Thabo Dloti is set to shake up asset management game. Sithega has finalised its R360m purchase for a 75% controlling stake in Prescient Empowerment Trust to form a majority black-owned asset management company.

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Former VW CEO Charged With Fraud

German prosecutors have charged former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn with fraud over diesel emissions. Prosecutors in Braunschweig announced Monday that Winterkorn was one of five people indicted in a case related to the automaker’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal. Winterkorn has been accused of a particularly serious fraud, according to a statement from prosecutors. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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Currencies : Rand/USD 14.08 – Rand/GBP 18.42 – Rand/EUR 15.91

SADC Countries Ban SA Cold Meats

otswana on Monday recalled imports of processed meat products from South Africa after a deadly listeria outbreak was linked to a factory there, the ministry of health said in a statement. Botswana’s move follows a similar ban by Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia in the wake of the outbreak that has claimed 180 lives in South Africa.

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SA To Raise GDP Growth Forecast In October

National Treasury will probably raise projections for economic growth this year in its October mid-term budget as the country overcomes governance and financial problems that have lowered confidence, said Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. The economy is forecast to expand 1.5% this year, compared with the previous projection of 1.1% and an estimated 1% in 2017.

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Mkhwebane To Be Grilled On Vrede Investigation

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will face MPs on Tuesday to respond to allegations that she suppressed information in her office’s Vrede dairy project investigation, which has been widely dismissed as a whitewash. The DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution have both taken the report on review.

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Trumps Steel Tariffs Could Cost Billions

President Trump’s steel tariff could cost Ford and General Motors $1 billion a year.
That’s the hit each company could take if the tariff translates into a similar increase in steel prices, according to a Goldman Sachs (GS) analysis. $1 billion represents 12% of Ford’s profit last year and 7% of GM’s

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Tiger Brands Down Over 7% On Listeria

iger Brands’ share price has declined sharply after Enterprise Foods was identified as the source of the current listeriosis outbreak. The food giant’s shares dropped by more than seven-percent in Monday morning trade. The decline follows safety recall notices for processed food manufacturers Enterprise Foods, which is a division of Tiger Brands, and Rainbow Chicken.

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Currencies: Bcoin R136,899 . Ether R10,319 . R/USD11.82 . R/GBP16.36 . R/EUR14.59

Zuma To Address The Nation

In a televised interview with CNN, finance minister Malusi Gigaba confirmed that Pres Jacob Zuma will address the nation at 10am and is expected to resign. Gigaba further went on to say that if Zuma does not resign, the ANC will have no choice but to side with opposition parties in parliament in a vote of no confidence in Zuma

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Reserve Bank To Regulate Crypto Currencies

The South African Reserve Bank has confirmed that it will be launching a special unit to address regulation in the growing fintech space. In a statement released on Tuesday, the SARB said that the main goal of the programme is to track and analyse fintech developments and to assist policymakers in formulating frameworks in response to these emerging innovations.

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National Credit Amendment Bill Mooted

According to legal experts, the Amendment Bill, should it pass, is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of ordinary South Africans as well as large parts of the finance and banking sectors because of the wide-scale debt relief it will provide. The proposed Bill makes provision for debt intervention for consumers earning a maximum of R7,500 per month and with less than R50,000 in unsecured debt. As the proposed Bill is currently crafted, 16 million loans could qualify for debt intervention.

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Unemployment Rate Improves Slightly

SA’s unemployment rate improved to 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was a one percentage point improvement on the unemployment rate of 27.7% recorded in the third quarter of the year. A decline in unemployment was observed across all age groups, but was highest among the youth, irrespective of educational level.

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City Of Joburg To Launch Jan Smuts Avenue Revamp

The City of Joburg will proceed with a planned expansion of Jan Smuts Avenue in the Parktown area and beyond, in a two-year project that will impact congestion levels and travel times for many residents in the area. It is expected to involve major roadworks on and around Jan Smuts, stretching from Zoo Lake to Bompas road. The drive behind the project is to alleviate traffic congestion in the area, and will be the start of a new phase in infrastructure upgrades in the city.

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KZN To Get Direct Flights To London

KwaZulu-Natal could soon have direct flights between Durban and London. “We had a very productive meeting with British Airways. They see huge potential in the Durban-London route and we are extremely optimistic that our engagements will bear fruits. For a number of years now, KwaZulu-Natal has been working on securing air services between Durban and the UK and we are happy that British Airways has finally given us the opportunity to engage them on the viability and potential of the route,” said MEC Sihle Zikalala.

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Diesel Cars On The Way Out In Europe

In 2012 European governments started reducing incentives on Diesel cars in favor of electric vehicles and consumers have shifted with those incentives. From 2015 to 2017, diesel’s market share has dropped from 51% to 44% and it is dropping every year in Europe

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Currencies: Bcoin R108,917. Ether R10,679. R/USD11.93 . R/GBP16.58 . R/EUR14.77

Zuma Digs In His Heels

President Jacob Zuma has dug in his heels, telling the ANC to do as it pleases after it took a decision early on Tuesday morning to recall him. It is said that Jacob Zuma had agreed to resign but Zuma wanted to stay in office for 3 months as one of his conditions. It was rejected by the NEC. The ANC NEC is due to announce the outcomes of their meeting later today

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DA To Take Vrede Report On Judicial Review

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday said it was taking the Public Protector’s report on the Vrede Dairy Farm project on judicial review, calling her findings a sham. Speaking in Cape Town, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said there were too many omissions from the report and said Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane even failed to probe what was already in the public domain.

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Taste Holdings Appoints New CEO

Taste, the JSE-listed holding group responsible for bringing US brands Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza to South Africa, have appointed a new chief executive, following the resignation of  co-founder, Carlo Gonzaga. Taste, which also has jewellery retailers Arthur Kaplan and NWJ in its stable, announced that Tyrone Moodley will change his function from non-executive director and be appointed to the Group CEO role effective 12 February 2018

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Unilever Threatens To Pull Facebook Ads

Unilever (UL), which owns brands like Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, warned on Monday that it would stop advertising on platforms that damage society by enabling the spread of fake news, sexism, racism, and extremism. The latest clash highlights the power imbalance in digital media. Brands and publishers are increasingly under the thumb of Facebook and Google, which offer unparalleled audiences in the billions and vast data troves on those users.

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Currencies : Bcoin R107,000 . Ether R10,512 . R/USD11.94 . R/GBP16.53 . R/EUR14.71