Gupta’s v Gordhan In Court

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s legal team will on Tuesday face off with 14 Gupta-owned companies over the blacklisting of their bank accounts by South Africa’s top four banks. Meanwhile President Jacob Zuma has asked to intervene as an “interested party” in the matter. Zuma argued that Standard Bank had sought relief that affected the president directly, but failed to join him into the legal proceedings as a party

Source : https://goo.gl/OkEwD1

Judge Dismisses Zuma’s Application To Join Pravin Case

The High Court in Pretoria has told President Jacob Zuma’s legal representatives that he is not formally part of the process and so cannot be added as an “interested party”. Zuma made an 11th-hour application on Monday asking to be added in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application against Gupta-linked Oakbay Investments as an “interested party”. Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said on Tuesday that because Zuma was not a party in the matter, his legal team could only observe.

Source : https://goo.gl/w0KuDU

Zuma Recalls Pravin Gordhan From Investment Roadshow

The rand plummeted about 52c against the dollar on Monday after President Jacob Zuma ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan home from a global investor road show, while banks and property stocks retreated on the JSE in similar fashion to Nenegate in December 2015. The rand’s retreat was directly attributable to Zuma’s action despite a weaker dollar, which usually supported an appreciation in the rand, analysts said..

Source : https://goo.gl/r5mIwj

Brian Joffe To Step Aside

Bidcorp executive chairperson Brian Joffe has announced that he will be stepping down from this position to launch a new JSE-listed company. “Brian (Joffe) has informed the board that he will be launching a new listed JSE investment vehicle which will not focus on activities competitive with the current Bidcorp’s foodservice business,” Bidcorp said on Tuesday.

Source : https://goo.gl/eEhQy0

SAA Losses Climb Significantly

Losses of the already cash-strapped South African Airways (SAA) has rapidly increased to R4.5-billion, documents submitted to Parliament’s standing committee on Finance revealed. “This new figure of R4.5-billion is significantly higher than the R3.5-billion revealed ten days ago and the R1.7-billion estimated in September 2016.

Source : https://goo.gl/PW0Od7

Fake TV’s Recalled From Massmart Stores

Massmart has quarantined TVs which are being sold as Full HD (1080p), but have HD Ready panels (720p) in them and has initiated a product recall for the units. The recall follows an investigation by MyBroadband and ISACA member Abu-Huraira Oman Abdalla, which showed that a “Full HD” 32-inch Telefunken TV sold at Game stores sported an HD Ready panel.

Source : https://goo.gl/jPHbmL

Indicators : Oil 50.99 – Rand/USD 12.87 – Rand/GBP 16.24 – Rand/EUR 14.03

 

 

Zuma’s Lawyer In Sassa Grants Saga

it emerged in the Sunday papers that President Jacob Zuma’s special adviser played a key role in ensuring that Cash Paymaster Services would keep the lucrative contract to deliver more than 17 million social grants to recipients. Michael Hulley’s intervention coincided with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini flatly rejecting any payment option that did not involve CPS, raising questions about why the minister was so intent on retaining the company.

Source : https://goo.gl/3FPu8Z

ANC Contradicts Zuma On Land Reform Method

The ANC says the state should pay fair compensation for land it acquires for distribution to the country’s black majority, contradicting a suggestion by President Jacob Zuma that the constitution should be changed to allow for free expropriation. The party said it needs to focus more intently on the “radical economic and social transformation of our country” to ensure its wealth is more evenly distributed and that it must act urgently to restore its moral character to win back public trust.

Source : https://goo.gl/VJpMbg

Popo Molefe And Prasa Board Take Minister To Court

Members of the former board of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) are lodging an urgent application in the High Court on Monday to reverse their removal by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and to interdict her from appointing a new board.

Source : https://goo.gl/0HHTv0

Unions Join Up To Protest Eskom Power Station Closures

Rival unions are reaching out to each other to unite against Eskom’s decision to close five coal power stations within five years. National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said he wants to engage with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on this issue. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Fin24 last week that at least two units of Komati power station have already been shut down to create space for the renewable energy projects.

Source : https://goo.gl/YxJgS1

Bitcoin Price Plunges After SEC Decision

The price of bitcoin plunged from record highs Friday after the Securities and Exchange Commission denied a request for the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which could have prompted greater investment in the digital currency.

Source : https://goo.gl/GmuZXo

Elon Musk Offers To Fix Australia Energy Crisis

Elon Musk has promised to solve an energy crisis in Australia within 100 days, or provide the technology for free. Musk was responding to a challenge from billionaire entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes, who wanted to know whether the company was serious in claiming that it could end blackouts in South Australia quickly. Tesla has offered to provide 100 megawatt hours of battery storage at a total cost of $25 million which should supplement the current grid and prevent cuts.

Source : https://goo.gl/NRUcXJ

Indicators : Oil 51.42 – Rand/USD 13.12 – Rand/GBP 16.00 – Rand/EUR 14.00

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

 

Snapchat Raises $3.4bn In IPO

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, priced its initial public offering at $17 a share on Wednesday. It had previously proposed a range of $14 to $16 a share. That equates to a Snap market value of nearly $24 billion, making it the largest U.S. tech IPO since Facebook. Snap’s sales are growing at a fast pace, rising to more than $400 million in 2016 from just $58.7 million in 2015. Most analysts expect Snap to report around $1 billion in sales this year.

Source : https://goo.gl/CzEPlr

Net 1 To Buy 15% Of Cell C

Electronic payments provider Net1 UEPS Technologies, which has found itself at the centre of a social grants storm in South Africa, has confirmed that it has agreed to buy a R2bn, 15% stake mobile network Cell C. Along with Blue Label Telecoms, Cell C is set to be able to pay off its debts and has said it has further concluded a memorandum of understanding to acquire 49.6% of DNI-4PL Contracts with an option to acquire a controlling stake in DNI in the future. DNI is a distributor of mobile subscriber starter packs for Cell C and also distributes pre-paid airtime through a network of field operatives and agents.

Source : https://goo.gl/60LWzN

SABC’s R5.1bn Irregular Expenditure

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has put forward a proposal to SABC group executives that the Hawks launch a forensic investigation into the affairs of the SABC. The proposal was made during a briefing by the SABC to Scopa on the broadcaster’s financial annual report for the 2015/2016 year which revealed R5.1-billion in irregular expenditure. CEO James Aguma painted a rosy picture of its progress regarding audience figures for radio and television, its progress on financial management, blaming a R411 million loss on expenditure on unforeseen events of national interest, less than three percent funding from government, and currency fluctuations, among others.

Source : https://goo.gl/wCMukn

Unilever Charged For Cartel Collusion

This follows the investigation by the Commission which found that Unilever and Sime Darby divided markets by allocating specific types of products and customers goods in the market for the manufacturing and supply of bakery and cooking products throughout South Africa. The Commission said its investigation found that from at least 2004 to 2013, Unilever and Sime Darby entered into a sale of business agreement, which contained a clause in terms of which they agreed not to compete with each other in respect of certain pack sizes of margarine and edible oils.

Source : https://goo.gl/M7VoS1

SA Taxi Seals R100 Million Finance Deal

SA Taxi has signed a deal with the Small Enterprise Funding Agency (SEFA), which is wholly-owned by the Industrial Development Corporation. SA Taxi’s business model includes the financing of industry-specific vehicles, provision of bespoke taxi insurance that helps operators protect their income-generating asset and optimise cash flow, a Taximart division that restores pre-owned vehicles to a virtually new condition, and a dealership network through which both new and pre-owned minibus taxis are sold directly to taxi operators.

Source : https://goo.gl/xHMq6D

Joburg Trashed Due To Jozi@Work Protests

A group of angry Jozi@Work protesters took to the streets of the Johannesburg CBD for the second consecutive night on Wednesday‚ leaving a trail of destruction and trash in their wake. About 200 workers‚ wearing their yellow uniforms‚ marched through Bree and Jeppe streets up to Rissik Street in front of the city council offices‚ upending rubbish bins along the way‚ in protest against the canning by Mayor Herman Mashaba of the Jozi@Work programme.

Source : https://goo.gl/izGJzr

IndicatorsOil 56.17 – Rand/USD 13.03 – Rand/GBP 15.99 – Rand/EUR 13.74

 

 

 

Tswane Truck Protests Cause Havoc

There were massive traffic jams on Gauteng’s N1 North, R21 North and the N14 routes leading into Pretoria in Tshwane this morning. Representatives of the Coal Transport Forum said that Eskom’s agreement with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will see mining job losses and the truck drivers transporting the coal blocked the roads in protest of the looming IPP agreements. As part of diversifying its energy mix, Eskom is expected by government to roll out an IPP programme that allows for the likes solar and wind power to be fed into the national grid.

Source : https://goo.gl/CSyRSH

SASSA Begs ConCourt To Allow CPS Contract To Continue 

The social security agency approached the Concourt for an order “authorising Sassa to engage the respondent (‘CPS’) to provide services for the payment of social grants for the period 1 April 2017 to 30 March 2018. The Concourt had given Sassa about three years to sort out the illegal CPS contract for distributing social grants, but the agency is so unready that it is asking the court for another year’s grace. The question is why wasnt anything done since 2014 and why does the department insist on CPS being the provider? They cant tell us that only this company can do the job.

Source : https://goo.gl/LwWfA1

FICA Bill Gets The Green Light From Parliament

Opposition MPs on Tuesday urged President Jacob Zuma to sign the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill without delay after the National Assembly adopted minor changes to it aimed at answering his concerns that it may be unconstitutional. Zuma now has two choices. He can either sign the bill in the form in which the National Assembly approved it on Tuesday, or take it to the Constitutional Court.

Source : https://goo.gl/ufQa9u

Curro To List University Business Embury Later This Year

Curro is busy designing courses and degrees and getting them accredited, a process that will take two years. Curro believes that the tertiary-education component can reach more than 100,000 students over the long term and is keeping the school and tertiary education businesses separate, and plans to unbundle its tertiary offering and list it separately during the course of the year. Curro saw a significant leap in the number of learners attending its schools, adding over 7,200 learners during the course of 2016, and adding 4,400 more in the 2017 school year, taking it to a total of 47,589 learners by January 2017.

Source : https://goo.gl/93GiQo

Youtube Launches TV Streaming Service

Google launched YouTube TV on Tuesday, which will cost $35 a month and offer access to content from broadcast networks as well as YouTube. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki‏ said people around the world watch one billion hours of YouTube content each day, and younger generations don’t want to consume television through traditional channels. You’ll now be able to watch shows from over 40 networks including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as Bravo, FX, ESPN and Fox Sports. Along with the cable channels, users can also watch shows previously only available on YouTube Red, the ad-free YouTube subscription service.

Source : https://goo.gl/YJAxxv

Fired Prasa Acting CEO Refuses To Leave

Collins Letsoalo‚ the disgraced acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA‚ is going nowhere.  Letsoalo claims he did nothing wrong. “I am still the acting CEO; there is nothing wrong that I have done‚ I have not appointed myself and would never give myself an increase‚” he said. “I am seconded by the shareholder and appointed by the board chairperson as acting group CEO and to date no one has informed me of this removal‚” he said.

Source : https://goo.gl/OkhqRO

Eskom & Transnet Sponsored PPF Led By Mzwanele Manyi

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown disclosed in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Tuesday by DA finance spokesman David Maynier that Eskom and Transnet had provided sponsorships of R440,000 and R400,000, respectively, to the forum.

Source : https://goo.gl/iRavfZ

Indicators : Oil 56.50 – Rand/USD 13.10 – Rand/GBP 16.17 – Rand/EUR 13.83

Prasa CEO Ups His Salary 4

The acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is accused of upping his own salary to more than four times the agreed amount. Collins Letsoalo who has been acting CEO since July 2016, was supposed to be paid R1.3 million a year. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that Letsoalo demanded that Prasa pay him the R5.9 million package that controversial former CEO Lucky Montana was paid, plus have a chauffeur-driven car and company cellphone with unlimited calls

Source : https://goo.gl/VAP0Iu

Hawks Target Mcebisi Jonas

City Press has established that the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit is gathering evidence that could implicate Jonas in a case of corruption involving a supplier to SAA’s aviation maintenance division, SAA Technical. The case is being investigated by Cats unit head Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, who also investigated the case against Gordhan. The theory is that removing Jonas will allow Brian Molefe to replace him and that is key because the deputy minister of finance is also chairperson and Non-Executive Director of Public Investment Corporation Limited.

Source : https://goo.gl/cDNb69

Millions Of Traffic Fines To Be Scrapped In Gauteng

The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that millions of traffic fines issued since 2008 must be scrapped. According to a ruling on Friday, all fines issued since 2008 that did not comply with the conditions outlined in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act must be cancelled.

Source : https://goo.gl/TolZxa

Cell C’s BEE Partner threatens To Derail BlueLabel Deal

Cell C’s black equity partner, CellSaf, has threatened to scupper Blue Label Telecoms’ significant investment in the cellphone operator. CellSaf accused Oger Telecom of not working in the best interest of Cell C and threatened legal action if Blue Label’s proposed acquisition of a 45% interest in Cell C goes ahead. CellSaf owns 25% of Cell C’s holding company, 3C Telecommunications.

Source : https://goo.gl/0t3fzC

Nokia Launches 4 New Phones, Not Just The 3310

HMD, the guys who have the brand rights to Nokia, announced a slate of low-cost new phones that will be sold under the Nokia brand. The company, run by a cast of former Nokia executives. The new phone models by Nokia are the “Nokia 6”, “Nokia 5”, “Nokia 3” and “Nokia 3310”.  The new 3310 has the same old-fashioned keypad and comes in a couple of bright plastic-y colors. A small color screen and potentially weeks of battery life round out the 49 euro ($52) device.

Source : https://goo.gl/xUkVKd

Over Half Of Joburg Water Lost To Leaks & Illegal Use

The Johannesburg and Durban metros are currently losing losing a combined 56% of their water through leaks and illegal connections. In the Johannesburg Metro alone‚ we have 35% of non-revenue water and of that 16% is unaccounted for. In the eThekwini Metro also‚ we have 40.7% of non-revenue water and of that‚ 59.3% is unaccounted for. In all likelihood‚ in both cases‚ this is water lost through leaks and illegal connections.

Source : https://goo.gl/r92Ktw

Indicators : Oil 56.74 – Rand/USD 12.98 – Rand/GBP 16.06 – Rand/EUR 13.72

16 Letters Detail Gordhan & Moyane War

16 letters have emerged exposing the true extent of the war between SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and minister of finance Pravin Gordhan. In one letter Moyane accuses Gordhan of subjecting him to “horrible and intolerable working conditions through belittling, humiliating, denigrating, antagonising and disparaging persona” he goes on to say, “I ask  myself every day what have i ever done to you that has made you mistreat and beseige me as if i am a little boy”. In turn, Gordhan warned Moyane that approving his own performance bonus was unethical, immoral and illegal. In most cases Gordhan did not respond to the letters but it seems Moyane approached pres Zuma for help which the president didnt give him.

Source : https://goo.gl/VpRSBz

Xenophobia March & MTN Nigeria Attack

Thousands of people are expected to take part in an anti-immigration march in Pretoria where law Law enforcement officers will be deployed along the route and at venues where memorandums would be handed over. The anti-immigration march was organised by a group calling itself the Concerned Mamelodi Residents. Meanwhile, the MTN offices in Nigeria were attacked yesterday and vandalised in retaliation to what is going on here. This lead to police having to be deployed to protect the premises.

Source : https://goo.gl/CzE26j

SA Tops Global Equity Returns Since 1900

South African stocks have returned an average 7.2%, more than 2%age points above the global average and the most among 23 nations tracked by Credit Suisse and LBS. The nation is Africa’s biggest coal and iron-ore producer, and the world’s largest of platinum, manganese and ferrochrome. Denmark tops the list for bond returns with an average 3.3%, equities were the best-performing asset in every country, showing over the long run there has been a reward for higher risk.

Source : https://goo.gl/Ungikg

Discovery posts Encouraging Results

Shares in Discovery rose as much as 7.92% to R127.99, despite the group missing earnings forecasts. The share price closed 4.35% higher at R124.70. Delivering the group’s results for the six months to December 2016, CEO Adrian Gore said the group had more than R1bn to fund new business growth and operating losses in emerging businesses Ping An Health, Discovery Insure and the Vitality Group were substantially lower.

Source : https://goo.gl/7E41sQ

Swiss Firm hit By $100 Million Fraud

Swiss engineering group ABB on Wednesday said it fell victim to a “sophisticated criminal scheme” at its South Korean subsidiary, with the chief suspect an executive responsible for ethics training. The executive is suspected of forging documents and colluding with third parties to steal funds, ABB said, estimating it would take a pre-tax charge of about $100 million for the affair, which analysts said raised concerns about its corporate oversight. The company claimed that he embezzled a combined 35.7 billion won ($31.31 million) in 73 transactions, the official said, adding that police were investigating the man’s accounts.

Source : https://goo.gl/PTHKXE

Swedes Overpaying Their Taxes

Official figures published on February 22nd showed tax revenues poured in far faster than forecast last year. Sweden’s government got a budget surplus of 85bn kronor ($9.5bn) in 2016. Nearly half of that, 40bn Skr, was from overpayment by firms and individuals. This appears to be deliberate. Income tax rates, at least for the well-off, can be as high as 57% while we are crying about 45% in South Africa. then again, you get what you pay for in those countries while nobody really knows what we get here.

Source : https://goo.gl/D9ctDr

Indicators : Oil 56.43 – Rand/USD 12.90 – Rand/GBP 16.16 – Rand/EUR 13.66