Mail & Guardian Sold To American Group

The Mail & Guardian has been acquired by the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which is now the majority shareholder of M&G Media Limited. As part of the same deal, current Chief Executive Officer Hoosain Karjieker becomes a minority shareholder. Trevor Ncube, the former publisher, has left the company. The MDIF is a New York-based non-profit organisation. Since its founding in 1996, it has invested $163-million in over 113 publications across 39 countries.

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Steinhoff Cost Investors Nearly R300 Billion

Concerns around financial irregularities at Steinhoff International have had a material impact on investors on the JSE. It’s not only Steinhoff’s share price that has suffered, but the share prices of a number of related companies as well. The most obvious is its subsidiary Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star). Investors have sold the share down as it appears that Star has guaranteed at least a portion of Steinhoff’s debt. The extent of these guarantees is however unclear. The impact has also spread to Shoprite, of which Steinhoff chairman Christo Wiese owns around 18.0%. Just days before Markus Jooste resigned as Steinhoff CEO, Star had announced that it had exercised call options to acquire a 23.1% economic stake and 50.6% voting control of Shoprite. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval. The Wiese connection appeared to put pressure on Brait, Stellar Capital, Tradehold and Invicta Holdings as well. He is closely associated with all of these companies.

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ANC Vote Buying Scandal Emerges

ANC presidential candidate Lindiwe Sisulu has become the latest high-ranking ANC leader to express her concern about the toxic effect that money could have on the ANC’s elective conference. On Tuesday, the ANC’s chief whip in Parliament, Jackson Mthembu, claimed in several tweets that regional secretaries in some provinces were trying to “allocate fraudulent delegates to branches that have failed to hold BGMs (branch general meetings)”.

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Job Losses Continue In SA

The jobs bloodbath continued in the third quarter, with more than 30,000 jobs lost, Statistics SA data showed on Tuesday. On the same day, manufacturing figures showed the sector performed better than had been expected. Mining production data released last week showed the sector was growing. Formal employment in SA, excluding the agricultural sector, fell by 31,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2017.

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Jooste Accused Of Manipulating Horse Betting

The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA) has given former Steinhoff chief executive Markus Jooste 48 hours to respond to allegations that he is manipulating and controlling the horse industry in South Africa for his personal gain. The NHA said it wanted to give Jooste, who is heavily invested in horse racing in South Africa and abroad, a chance to explain himself. Chief executive Lyndon Barends said the NHA had already made contact with the group that represents Jooste in horse racing to respond to these allegations.

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Disney To Buy Fox For $60 Billion

Walt Disney is close to confirming a deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for about $60bn, reports say. The sale would include the 20th Century Fox film studio and the Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in the UK, Europe and Asia. Disney was left as the front runner after Comcast, the NBC owner, dropped out of the race on Monday.

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Proposal For Meat Taxes

Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Socially focused investors are starting to push companies to diversify into plant protein, or even suggest livestock producers use a “shadow price” of meat – similar to an internal carbon price – to estimate future costs. Meat could encounter the same fate as tobacco, carbon and sugar, which are currently taxed in 180, 60, and 25 jurisdictions around the world, respectively, according to a report on Monday from investor group the FAIRR  (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) Initiative.

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Ethereum And Litecoin Soaring

In the past two days, Ethereum has broken through the $500 and $600 price barriers for the first time, and is up around 30% in the last 24 hours alone, according to Coinbase. Litecoin, meanwhile, is up an astounding 91% from the previous day and is sitting around $365 as of Tuesday afternoon—nearly four times what it was worth a week ago. (Bitcoin, meanwhile, is not far off its record high of around $17,300 but its relative price gains have been modest this week.)

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Possible Meat Taxes On The Cards

Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Socially focused investors are starting to push companies to diversify into plant protein, or even suggest livestock producers use a “shadow price” of meat – similar to an internal carbon price – to estimate future costs. Meat could encounter the same fate as tobacco, carbon and sugar, which are currently taxed in 180, 60, and 25 jurisdictions around the world, respectively, according to a report on Monday from investor group the FAIRR  (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) Initiative.

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SABC Staff Go On Strike

Union Bemawu informed members on Monday that it had given the SABC notice of its intention to strike. The union is demanding a 10% increase, while management is offering 4.5%. The Communication Workers’ Union has also reportedly notified management of plans to strike. Besides salaries, the unions have also taken issue with a reported R3.9-million paid to members of the interim SABC board, given the corporation’s shaky finances.

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Currencies: R264,718 . Ether R9,706 . R/USD13.66 . R/GBP18.16 . R/EUR16.05

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U.S Firm Investigating Naspers Businesses

US law firm Pomerantz issued a statement in New York saying it was investigating claims on behalf of Naspers’s investors. “The investigation concerns whether Naspers and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices,” Pomerantz said. The law firm, which has been described by some US-based investors as the corporate equivalent of an ambulance chaser, has invited Naspers shareholders to join a class action. It pioneered corporate class actions and has been involved in many high-profile cases. “They’re not always successful but these are people you don’t really want looking into your business,” said an analyst.

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Steinhoff CEO Resigns

Steinhoff International Holdings NV Chief Executive Officer Marcus Jooste resigned with immediate effect after the global furniture and clothing retailer reported irregularities in its accounts that require further investigation. The owner of the France-based Conforama furniture store chain and Pep clothing stores in Africa has appointed auditor PwC to probe the matter, it said in a statement on Tuesday. South African billionaire and chairman of the company, Christo Wiese, will run the company on a temporary basis. The retailer, which has origins in South Africa, has a base in Amsterdam and a primary listing in Frankfurt, said Monday it wasn’t able to release audited full-year financial results on Wednesday due to matters related to a criminal and tax investigation in Germany. It had previously rejected allegations made in a Manager-Magazin report that Jooste is among employees being investigated by German prosecutors in a 2015 case linked to possible accounting fraud.

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Bitcoin Raors To $12000

Bitcoin surpassed $12 000 for the first time amid speculation that the widespread use of futures will help lead to digital currencies being viewed as a legitimate asset class for mainstream investors. The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1 000 at the start of the year as optimism climbs for the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain that is at the heart of bitcoin.

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Capetonians To Pay Monthly Drought Charge

Cape Town residents may have to pay a monthly “drought charge” for about three years from February, as officials try and raise R1 billion annually while dams in the province recover from the worst dry spell in more than a hundred years. Details about the proposed charge are contained in a report to be considered by the council of the City of Cape Town, which was signed on Friday by, among others, Mayor Patricia de Lille. The charge, if authorised by National Treasury, would be in place until the 2020/2021 financial year.

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78% Of SA Grade 4’s Cant Read

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which measures literacy rates of grade 4 learners, has revealed that as many as 78% of learners in that grade in South Africa are not able to read in any language. South Africa has been ranked last out of 50 countries that participated in the PIRLS 2016, which compares the reading achievement of participating countries by measuring reading ability, collecting extensive background information about policy, home support, and curricula

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Lamborghini Launches R2.7 Million SUV

Italian brand and manufacturer of luxury supercars, Lamborghini has unveiled the Urus. The long-awaited SUV fills the gap in the automaker’s lineup previously bereft of a utility vehicle. Lamborghini is among the last automakers worldwide to add an SUV or crossover to its portfolio of models.

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Engen Sells Service Stations To Vivo Energy

Engen Limited, through subsidiary Engen Holdings, is selling more than 300 Engen-branded service stations in 10 African countries to Vivo Energy Holding. As a result of the deal, Vivo will get a footprint in nine new countries – DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Réunion, Zambia, Gabon, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi. Vivo said Engen’s Kenya operations, where Vivo already had a presence, were also part of the deal. Engen’s South African business and refinery as well as its businesses in Mauritius, Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho were not part of the transaction.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R184,400 . Ether R6,668 . R/USD13.48 . R/GBP18.05 . R/EUR15.95

 

 

R300 Million Spent On Madiba Funeral

The Eastern Cape provincial government “improperly diverted funds” amounting to R300m that were supposed to be spent on social infrastructure, to pay for president Nelson Mandela’s funeral, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found. Mkhwebane said the finance minister should ask the president to issue a proclamation to allow the Special Investigating Unit to investigate the unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money.

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Huge Petrol Price To Jump

The Department of Energy has published the official petrol prices for December 2017 – with the increases higher than first anticipated, thanks to a weaker rand and higher oil prices. From Wednesday, 6 December, the price of petrol for all grades will increase by 71 cents a litre. The per litre price of diesel 0.05% sulphur and 0.005% sulphur will increase by 60 cents and 57 cents respectively.

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BBC Lays Charges Against Suspended Danisa Baloyi

The Black Business Council (BBC) has laid criminal charges of fraud and theft against controversial businesswoman and suspended president Danisa Baloyi, as mystery continued over the missing R5 million donation from the Airports Company of SA (Acsa). BBC secretary-general George Sebulela yesterday said the lobby group laid the charges in against Baloyi and oil and gas company Merit Energy Johannesburg two weeks ago but suspended Baloyi on Thursday, pending investigations.

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Steinhoff Share Drops Despite Increased Revenue

Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star) fell nearly 10% on the JSE, despite the group increasing its revenue to R58.6 billion on the back of a star performance from its discount and value segment. The shares closed 9.8% weaker at R50.34 as Star reported that the division, which consists of Pep Stores, Ackermans, Russells, Bradlows, Flash and Poco,  contributed R44.1bn to overall revenue for the year to end September.

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Heineken To Open $100m Moz Brewery

Heineken will open a $100 million brewery in Mozambique, its first production facility in the southern African nation. The world’s second-largest brewer plans to start production at the 0.8 million hectoliters capacity plant in the capital Maputo in the first half of 2019. Heineken, which also brews Amstel and Sagres, opened a marketing office in Mozambique last year, importing products to compete in a market where AB Inbev’s 2M is entrenched.

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Xiaomi To Launch IPO In 2018

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that was once the most valuable startup in the world, is in talks with investment banks about a possible initial public offering and seeking a valuation of at least $50 billion. Xiaomi last raised money in 2014 at a $46 billion valuation.

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BMW To Make 50% Increase In Electric Vehicle Sales

BMW AG is targeting another ambitious hike in plug-in hybrid and battery car sales next year to defend its position in the electric-car shift as competitors like Volkswagen AG ready their own battery lineups. The planned increase to about 150,000 cars sold would represent a 50 percent rise from this year, and a jump of about two-thirds from last year’s deliveries of green cars. BMW, an early mover in the electric-car shift with 2013’s i3, is facing increasing competition from rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

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UK Treasury Plans Tighter Cryptocurrency Regulation

The British government is planning to introduce strict regulations of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to combat crime like tax evasion and money laundering. The UK Treasury will lead the effort into regulating cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bringing it under the purview of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R169,894 . Ether R6,830 . R/USD13.49 . R/GBP18.14 . R/EUR16.01

Brian Molefe Says He Never Left Eskom

Brian Molefe is adamant he should be reinstated to his position as Eskom’s CEO. He insists he and Eskom made an honest mistake when they agreed on his early retirement from the power utility five years too early. The DA, EFF, and Solidarity  went to court on Wednesday to have Molefe’s R30-million pension payout declared unlawful and set aside.

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Tegeta Threatens To Cut Eskom Coal Supply

On Friday last week, Tegeta Exploration and Resources threatened to shut down the conveyor belts that supply coal to Hendrina power station. Tegeta – owned by the Guptas, Trillian founder Salim Essa, and the president’s son Duduzane Zuma – wanted Eskom to increase the R150/ton it pays to Tegeta for coal from the Optimum mine.  According to leaked minutes of an Eskom meeting on Friday, Eskom retaliated by threatening to approach the court. “Legal counsel was instructed to prepare the interdict and a meeting was held with [Tegeta] this morning, to discuss actions to be taken. Verbal commitment [were] made by [Tegeta] at 12:30 that they will not stop the conveyor belt to [Hendrina]; Eskom requested written confirmation by 15:00 today. If it is not delivered urgent legal action will be taken,” the minutes read.

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Multichoice’s R500m “Bribe” To SABC

Minutes of a high-level 2013 meeting between South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executives and MultiChoice suggest the Naspers pay-TV subsidiary tried to use a R500m payment for an SABC news channel as cover to secure influence over government policy on encryption. Analysts said MultiChoice saw encryption as a threat to its dominance of the pay-TV market and the company was determined to reverse government policy and ensure set-top boxes were not encrypted.

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SAA Losses To Hit R4Billion

Losses at South African Airways are set to widen to R4 billion ($292.86 million) in 2017/18 – up from a previous estimate of R2.8 billion, according to Chief financial officer, Phumeza Nhantsi. Last week, SAA said even with a government injection of R10 billion, the struggling airline will remain under-capitalised with a negative equity position of over R9 billion. Vuyani Jarana, SAA’s CEO, said the airline had outstanding debt of R13.8 billion($1.01 billion) as of this month and that it needed to pay back domestic lenders and U.S. bank Citi R4 billion by March 2018.

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Naspers Interim Profits Up 65%

Group core headline earnings, the board’s measure of sustainable operating performance, was US$1.5 billion – a 65% increase year on year. Naspers, which owns a 34% stake in Tencent, said headline earnings climbed to $1.5 billion, or 350 cents per share, from $914 million, or 212 cents per share. The group said that it delivered a solid performance for the six months to 30 September 2017 with group revenue, measured on an economic-interest basis, increasing 33% year on year to US$9.0 billion (or 39% in local currency and adjusted for acquisitions and disposals).

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Bitcoin Breaks $11000 Barrier

The price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin smashed through $11,000 on Wednesday — less than 12 hours after bursting through the $10,000 mark. Hitting almost $11,400 per coin, the digital currency has now gained about 1,000% year-to-date. Bitcoin’s rise in 2017, according to the Guardian, has been the largest of any asset class. But, drawing comparisons between previous rallies the cryptocrrency has enjoyed, the price is only up about 5,000% since it hit a low in January 2015. Previous rallies, from July 2010 to mid-2011, and from 2012 to 2014 have seen bitcoin soar just less than 40,000% and 55,000% respectively.

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Big Changes To Parental Leave Law

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill‚ which was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday‚ is a landmark achievement for parental rights as it allows for all parents to access parental leave‚ regardless of gender. In terms of the Bill‚ an employee who is a parent and who is not entitled to maternity leave‚ is entitled to ten consecutive days’ parental leave when their child is born or when an adoption order is granted.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R162,331 . Ether R7,001 . R/USD13.66 . R/GBP18.36 . R/EUR16.20

 

 

Time Magazine Sold TO Rivals

Time magazine is about to have new owners — including the billionaire Koch brothers.
Media company Meredith (MDP) announced Sunday that it has agreed to buy the 95-year-old magazine’s publisher, Time Inc., for $2.8 billion. Acquiring the legendary magazine business gives Meredith control of dozens of other big titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly. Meredith already publishes several top magazines, including Parents, Shape and Better Homes & Gardens.

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New Govt Plan To Battle Downgrades

The government is looking to implement R30bn in tax hikes and more than R50bn of spending cuts in 2018 as it struggles to stabilise the ballooning public-debt ratio and respond to the concerns of ratings agencies and investors.

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Water Dept To Throttle Municipalities

An ongoing culture of nonpayment by local municipalities has exacerbated the water troubles South Africa faces, with the Department of Water and Sanitation currently owed R10.7-billion. The Minister has now issued notices to 30 municipalities that the department would terminate bulk water supply should they fail to pay their water debts by December 8.

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Mining Charter Court Case Postponed

The showdown between the mining sector and Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane over the controversial Mining Charter will now only take place next year, after the charter’s court review was postponed. The hearing was moved to mid-February next year at the request of the Chamber of Mines, which voiced concerns that the two days set aside in December was not enough time to argue the case properly.

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China Pollution Harming The Economy

China has transformed over the past four decades from an economic backwater to an unrivaled industrial power that consumes huge amounts of raw materials and energy. The tremendous change has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but also polluted the country’s air and water. The government has already undertaken initiatives to promote clean energy vehicles and sideline polluting industries. Beijing has signed the Paris Climate Accord and is working on a plan to eventually phase out cars powered solely by fossil fuels. The changes are coming at the expense of economic growth, which has dropped from above 10% in 2010 to below 7% in recent years.

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New Eskom Board To Be Announced Soon

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown will present the names of the proposed members of the Eskom board to the cabinet on December 6. In his medium-term budget policy statement last month, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said that a new Eskom board would be appointed before the end of this month. Business Report understands that this week’s cabinet meeting has been postponed until next week. Zethembe Khoza has been Eskom’s interim chairperson since the unexpected resignation of Ben Ngubane in June this year.

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Bitcoin Billionaire Estimates Rise To $40000 By End Of 2018

Bitcoin was hovering just $300 shy of the vaunted $10,000 mark at one point on Monday but it could “easily” reach four times that amount by the end of 2018. That’s according to former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz. “Bitcoin could be at $40,000 at the end of 2018. It easily could,” Novogratz said on the CNBC show Fast Money, Monday. “Ethereum, which I think just touched $500 or is getting close, could be triple where it is as well,” he added.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R170,675 . Ether R8,197 . R/USD13.77 . R/GBP18.32 . R/EUR16.39

Farmers Warn Of Rocketing Food Prices

South African consumers are about to be hit by high food prices this festive season because of the lingering effects of drought, Agri SA warned on Friday. It said things would get tougher due to the recent drought that hit large parts of the country and affected food production in provinces such as the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape. Already, South Africa has witnessed an average increase in meat prices of 15.5%, while milk, cheese and eggs increased by 2.7%, the last also attributed to avian flu.

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SA Downgraded TO Junk By S&P

Global ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on Friday evening downgraded South Africa’s long-term local currency rating to ‘BB+’, or junk, from ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook, while Moody’s has placed the country on review to be downgraded. S&P also further lowered SA’s long-term foreign currency debt to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+’, meaning this debt is now on the second rung of non-investment grade. Moody’s Investors Service then announced that it had placed the Baa3 long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings of the government of South Africa on review for downgrade.

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Britian Now Out Of Worlds Top 5 Economies

Britain has officially abandoned its claim to be the world’s fifth largest economy. While there are several ways to measure the size of an economy, the U.K. Treasury pointed to GDP forecasts published by the International Monetary Fund in October to back up his statement. The numbers show that France will narrowly squeak ahead of Britain in the group’s 2017 ranking of global economies, with its advantage predicted to widen considerably in 2018.

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SARS Pays R18.5 Billion To Taxpayers

The SA Revenue Service (SARS) paid R18.5bn to 2.22 million taxpayers at the close of the tax season for non-provisional taxpayers on Friday November 24. This is a 26% increase compared to last year, SARS said in a statement issued on Sunday. It explained that these refunds apply to returns filed for the 2016/2017 tax year, which have been submitted during Tax Season 2017 from July 1 to November 24.

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Bitcoin Smashes Through $8500 Mark

Bitcoin has reached another all-time high, breaking through the $9,000 mark on international exchanges and R150,000 on Luno. The price of Bitcoin has continued to climb despite the calling off of a switch to SegWit2x.SegWit2x would have been the culmination of a compromise that was set in motion earlier this year, through “The New York Agreement” and a document called BIP91 (Bitcoin improvement proposal 91). Despite the consensus achieved through BIP91, increasing Bitcoin’s block size remained a controversial change – and it has since been suspended due to a lack of buy-in from many Bitcoin players. Bitcoin has seen huge growth since the start of 2017, with the token trading at around R12,000 at the beginning of the year.

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Witnesses Fail To Testify In Koko Case

The prosecution in Eskom’s disciplinary process against Matshela Koko was forced to close its case prematurely on Saturday after witnesses declined to testify against the suspended former acting CEO. Evidence leader Cassim Moosa told advocate Mzungulu Mthombeni, chairman of the hearing, that a number of witnesses had declined his invitation to testify against Koko. This means Eskom will struggle to prove the serious allegations against Koko, paving the way for him to be reinstated and to assume the “rotating” CEO’s seat that was vacated by Brian Molefe in 2016. This entire thing has been a sham and tailor made for Koko to get off unscathed.

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Ex Zim Finance Minister Facing Corruption Charges

Ignatius Chombo, Zimbabwe’s finance minister until the military seized control of the country, was charged with three offenses including corruption, abuse of office and fraud. Chombo appeared in a Harare court on Saturday to face the charges, which were listed in a document handed to reporters at the court by his lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku. The court ruled that Chombo must remain in custody until Monday when his team can apply for bail.

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Hawks Investigating Brian Molefe Pension

The NPA said in papers that the office of the Hawks is probing those involved in the alleged pension fund saga. Solidarity has asked the court to order that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) investigate the matter. Earlier this year, the union filed an affidavit in which it asked the court to overturn Eskom’s decision to reappoint Molefe as CEO, as well as the approval of the payout

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Currencies: Bitcoin R160,553 . Ether R7,873 . R/USD13.89 . R/GBP18.47. R/EUR16.56

Black Friday Causes Site Crashes & Chaos

The annual Black Friday discount bonanza happening in South Africa and around the world has some outlets offering discounts of up to 50%. Stores experiencing problems are; retail giant Takealot, online fashion store Superbalist.com. and websites across The Foschini Group (TFG) have been experiencing technical difficulties due to the Black Friday craziness. There is also gridlocked traffic around shopping malls as people rush to get deals.

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IDC To Sue Oakbay After They Miss Deadline

Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources & Energy’s woes have escalated with news that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is suing it for its failure to meet a demand to pay R293m by Thursday. The claim arises from the alleged unlawful manipulation of the Oakbay share price ahead of the company’s listing on the JSE in November 2014. The allegations, investigated by the Financial Services Board, were that a Singaporean entity funded by the Gupta family bought shares in Oakbay just prior to its listing in order to boost the share price.

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Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

The Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday‚ when the monetary policy committee (MPC) wrapped up its last meeting for the year. That leaves the repo at 6.75%‚ where it has been since July’s cut of 25 basis points — the first cut in five years.

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Fitch Leaves SA Credit Rating Unchanged

On Thursday at about 5.30pm, Fitch held SA’s sovereign credit rating at the BB+ “first tier of junk” level it downgraded the country to on April 7. Fitch maintained its outlook at stable, and the outlooks of the big three ratings agencies are important clues as to their next actions. At about 11pm on Friday night, S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s are scheduled to release their latest verdicts on the creditworthiness of South African government bonds.

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Vodacom Facing Lawsuit Over Disappearing Airtime

In an attempt to quell customer dissatisfaction, the network began the process of “gifting” their customers with 500 megabyte once-off data bundles. Despite the action Vodacom denied robbing it’s customers purchased data, instead saying, “the reality is that data is not disappearing – we are just using more data at a much faster rate. “The reason for the higher data use is because our smartphones are becoming more entrenched in all our daily activities,” Vodacom said. Despite it’s claims, Vodacom is now facing a class action lawsuit for tens of millions for “unauthorised fees” that it has charged it’s subscribers. Bidvest Car Rental executive, William Douglas has decided to take action against the network giant over his Vodacom account allegedly being “billed without consent for content services.”

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British Salaries Could Be Frozen For 17 Years

The Resolution Foundation, a non-partisan think tank, said that average earnings, when adjusted for inflation, are likely to stay below the level they hit before the global financial crisis until the start of 2025. That means 17 years without a pay hike. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, the country’s leading independent economic research institute, gave a similarly dire warning. Britain’s independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) on Wednesday slashed its growth forecast for this year from 2% to 1.5%. The watchdog said that weak productivity means growth won’t pick up until 2021, and it cited Brexit as one factor.

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Mitshubishi Admits Falsifying Data

Mitsubishi Materials said Thursday that it had falsified data on multiple products — including components used in cars and airplanes — for more than a year. Mitsubishi Cable Industries had been misrepresenting data on rubber sealants used in automobiles and aircraft, the company added. Data was falsified for around 270 million units sold between April 2015 and September 2017 to a total of 229 customers. Another subsidiary, Mitsubishi Shindoh, had been fudging details of some of its metal products for at least the past year, including brass and copper parts used in the automotive and electronics industries. At least 29 companies are believed to have bought the parts in question.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R132,546 . Ether R6,462 . R/USD13.94 . R/GBP18.48 . R/EUR16.49