SARS Misses Tax Collection Target

The South African Revenue Service was a fraction of a percentage off its estimates in tax collection for the 2017/18 financial year, collection R1.216 trillion – 0.06% lower than the estimate of R1.217 trillion. Despite the slightly lower collection, revenues were up 6.3% from the 2016/17 financial year, with the taxman collection R72.4 billion more.

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Ramaphosa Concerned By Gigaba Lying Ruling

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern at a recent court ruling that found Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba violated the Constitution by lying under oath. Fireblade Aviation had sued Gigaba for allegedly going back on his undertaking to make officials available to Fireblade to staff its customs and immigration facility. Gigaba denied that he had approved the terminal, but the court found against him. The court stated that Gigaba had violated the Constitution and denied him the right to appeal.

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Pam Golding Dies

Residential real estate business leader Pam Golding has passed away at the age of 90. She has been lauded for building one of the largest estate agencies on the continent, Pam Golding Properties. Pam Golding Properties boasts a network of more than 300 offices in sub-Saharan Africa as well as offices in the UK, Germany, Mauritius and Seychelles. The group also facilitates property sales and residency in Spain and Portugal, as well as property sales in the US.

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Mark Lamberti In Sexism And Racism Scandal

The High Court in Johannesburg is yet to quantify the amount of money payable to a former Imperial Holdings manager after it found she was racially discriminated against. The court found that Lamberti and Imperial’s actions impaired Chowan’s dignity and that she was “extremely upset, humiliated, degraded and objectified in terms of being a female empowerment equity candidate” without recognition of her status as a professional qualified chartered accountant with extensive experience.

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New DSTV Prices Up By Up To 6%

Broadcaster MultiChoice have adjusted their DStv prices which taken effect from the 1st of April 2018. MultiChoice promised that the company had tried its best to keep subscription fees down in 2017, despite the tough economic climate. The company added that it did not hike its prices in accordance with the VAT increase from 14% to 15%.

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Spotify Lists On Wall Street

It took more than three hours on Tuesday morning to get Spotify trading publicly, in a stock sale as unorthodox as streaming digital music once seemed. Spotify Technology SA’s shares — sold via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO — finally opened well after midday at $165.90 apiece in New York, with 5.6 million shares changing hands at that initial price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Steinhoff Slashes Value Of European Property Portfolio

Steinhoff has announced that the true value of real estate interests owned by one of its European subsidiaries may be €1.1bn (about R16bn) less than previously calculated. The Stellenbosch-headquartered conglomerate said in a market announcement on Tuesday evening that commercial real estate advisory group CBRE had valued the real estate portfolio of its subsidiary Hemisphere International Properties at “approximately €1.1bn”. This is half the company’s previous estimate of €2.2bn.

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Massive Petrol Price Increase Tonight

The department of energy has published its official fuel price adjustments, confirming a 72 cents and 69 cents per litre increase from 95 ULP and 93 ULP, respectively, while both grades of diesel will jump by 65 cents. Illuminating paraffin will be going up by 2 cents a litre, the department said.

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ANC Considering A Land Tax

The ANC is investigating a land tax as another way to drive its redistribution, according to the final resolutions from its Nasrec conference released by the party. The head of the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, Enoch Godongwana, said on Monday there were many views on the idea of a land tax, and he confirmed the governing party was investigating a tax instrument to drive land redistribution.

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Eskom To Trim Its Workforce

Eskom employed about 47 600 people as of March last year, compared with 32 600 a decade ago. With South Africa’s unemployment rate at 26.7%, unions are opposed to dismissals at the state utility. Eskom will need to scrap between 13 000 and 15 000 jobs. Corruption at the senior-management level needs to be tackled first, according to Phakamile Hlubi, a spokesperson for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

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SpaceX Satellite Broadband Plan gets US Approval

Elon Musk’s SpaceX won approval from the US Federal Communications Commission to offer broadband service from space, using a constellation of 4 425 satellites racing around the Earth in low orbits. SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies, requested authority to deploy and operate thousands of satellites operating about 1 110 to 1 325 kilometers above the Earth.

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Iqbal Surve To List Sagarmatha On JSE

Iqbal Surve has swept together a collection of insolvent, unprofitable media-related assets and plans to list them on the JSE on Friday, following an initial placement priced at R39.62 a share. The placement price gives the new company, called Sagarmatha, a market capitalisation of R50bn, placing it second to Naspers in the media sector and substantially ahead of Caxton.

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Protesters Cause Havoc At Mooi River Toll 

The protesters were reportedly South African truck drivers who blamed foreign nationals for their unemployment. They burned tyres and barricaded the N3 at the Mooi River toll plaza in both directions from about 3am yesterday morning. This led to the closure of the N3, bringing traffic to a complete standstill just as scores were leaving or returning to Durban after the Easter holidays.

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Class Action lawsuits Filed Against Tiger Brands

A class action lawsuit was filed on Thursday against South Africa’s Tiger Brands after one of the company’s food factories was linked to a listeria outbreak that has killed 180 people since early 2017, the lawyer running the case said. Tiger Brands said it had received notice of two class action suits against the firm this month, estimated at R425million.

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Bahrain Makes Massive Oil & Gas Discovery

Bahrain on Sunday announced it has discovered the largest oil and gas field in the history of the small kingdom. Authorities estimate the newfound reserves at “many times” the volume of Bahrain’s only other known oil field, the state-run BNA news agency said. BNA did not give details on the size of the new light shale oil and gas find or on the expected date of the start of production. Bahrain currently has only one oilfield with several hundred million barrels of crude reserves.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Capitec Closes On 10 Million Customers

The bank is expecting to top 10-million active accounts by the end of March, helping it close in on Standard Bank as the largest retail franchise in SA. Customer growth helped drive an 18% rise in headline earnings for the year to end-February, to R38.58 a share, an 18% increase in the dividend, to R14.70, and return on equity of 27%. Net transaction fee income climbed 31% over the period, to R5.1bn — fees on bank accounts and not loans now account for 41% of total net income.

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Jooste Snubs Parliament

Lawyers acting for former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste say he won’t be coming to Parliament to answer questions. Jooste was invited to appear before a joint meeting on Wednesday of four committees, including those of finance and public accounts. But his lawyers say that appearing before the committees could put his right to a fair trial in jeopardy.

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R3.9 Bn Siyangena Contracts Unlawful

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) says the R3.9bn contracts it awarded to keep dozens of railway stations safe were unauthorised, unlawful, defined by alleged tender-rigging and, largely, a waste of money. In an explosive affidavit filed at the High Court in Pretoria, Prasa group executive in charge of legal risk and compliance Onica Martha Ngoye spelled out how some of the rail agency’s executives bent over backwards to ensure that IT and security company Siyangena Technologies was awarded lucrative deals without proper tender procedures being followed.

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Durban Beachfront To Get R30m Facelift

The issue of Durban’s famous Golden Mile beach being washed away by the sea will be fixed during a R30-billion facelift. This was the assurance by eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza‚ who has said that the city is in talks with Transnet to help replenish several sand-starved beaches. Authorities are also expecting that local existing property values in the area are likely to increase by at least 10% and the overall CBD property values are likely to increase by 5%. Upon completion‚ rates revenues generated for eThekwini will amount to in excess of R200-million more per annum.

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Auditor General Blast Nomvula Mokonyane

Treasury officials and Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu on Tuesday spelled out in Parliament how the Department of Water and Sanitation went on a tender deviation spree while Nomvula Mokonyane was at the helm. In the process they splurged billions of rand in excessive project management and professional fees, leaving the department in financial distress. The deviations had resulted in the department forking out on excessive construction costs as its fruitless and wasteful expenditure skyrocketed, while it had outsourced its procurement to a private company.

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Glencore Could Buy Back Optimum Mine

Glencore is considering a bid for the Optimum coal operations which it sold in 2015 to a company part-owned by the politically connected Gupta family. Glencore placed the mine in bankruptcy protection in 2015 after Eskom refused to renegotiate an unprofitable supply contract and issued penalties. The asset then was sold to a company owned by the Guptas and Zuma’s son Duduzane, with support from then-Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who travelled to Switzerland to meet with Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg. The Guptas, Duduzane Zuma and Zwane all deny any wrongdoing.

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Interest Rate May Be Cut Tomorrow

Thanks to Moody’s stable outlook for SA, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) will likely reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday.  This is the conclusion of Nedbank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) division after it analysed its latest Interest Rate Barometer. A 25 basis points cut would lower the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow money from the SARB, to 6.5% and the prime lending rate to consumers to 10%.

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Minimum Wage To Be Delayed

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant confirmed on Monday evening that it will not be possible to implement the new minimum wage legislation on the envisaged date of May 1 because the parliamentary process will not be completed by then. Oliphant said that the bills were highly contested and “it has become apparent that the ambition for the National Minimum Wage Bill to become law by May 1 2018 may not be practical given the high volumes of public submissions.

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Listeriosis Will Cost Rainbow An Estimated R75 million

Its best estimate of the direct and identifiable cost of the listeriosis outbreak is R75 million, Rainbow Chicken’s parent company RCL told shareholders on Monday afternoon. That includes the costs of recalling its chicken polony, destroying recalled products, testing costs, and advertising and in-store communication. Those are hard to estimate, RCL said, but could be around R20 million in profit lost a month, every month, until things return to normal.

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Mkhwebane Investigating DWS & SAP Contract

The Public Protector is investigating a R671 million ($60 million) government contract with German software firm SAP , which has admitted misconduct in separate deals involving friends of ousted president Jacob Zuma. The Public Protector’s office said it had received an anonymous letter alleging due process was not followed in the award of a contract to SAP in 2016 to provide IT and support services to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

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MTN To Launch Namibian Operation

MTN plans to enter Namibia’s mobile-operator market through a tie-up with a state telecommunications firm. MTN Business Solutions Namibia, which is 30% owned by local shareholders, and local company Demshi Investment Holdings, will enter the market from June 2018 as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Both operators were in negotiations to use state-owned TN Mobile’s 3G and LTE network. TN has a market share of just 4.5%, while MTC, another state-owned operator, has a share of 95.5%.

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Capitec And Sanlam Announce Bancassurance Deal

Capitec is expected to announce a bancassurance joint venture with Sanlam, alongside its financial results due Tuesday. In an interview with Moneyweb, Sanlam chief executive Ian Kirk said the joint venture would see Sanlam become an insurance partner to the banking group. “We are delighted with the opportunity to partner with Capitec. We like the bank, we think they are quite innovative, they’ve grown well and they’ve identified the need to offer insurance and savings plans to their client base to broaden their offerings and to improve their positioning with their clients in South Africa.

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Western Cape Considering Provincial Fuel Levy

The Western Cape provincial government is looking to introduce a provincial fuel levy, over and above the national levy currently imposed on all South African motorists – but it likely won’t be coming for a while. The decision taken in April/May 2017 by the Western Cape Cabinet is that before any consultation can happen, the fuel levy research which was done in 2005 will have to be updated.

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Zuma In new Bribery Scandal

Jacob Zuma is reportedly being investigated by the Hawks, following claims that he received a bribe of R1 million to ensure that a cabinet minister did not leave his post. According to a report by the City Press, the cash bribe was allegedly paid by a Western Cape abalone dealer in exchange for keeping Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana in Zuma’s Cabinet.

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Guptas To Appear Before Indian Tax Authority Today

Atul‚ Ajay and Rajesh initially were to appear on March 16‚ but the tax authorities granted them a 10-day extension. The brothers could reportedly be charged with money laundering and fraudulently amassing properties. Amrendra Kumar‚ a senior income tax official in India’s Uttar Pradesh state‚ previously told Reuters the Gupta brothers were suspected of finding ways to bring “illicit money” into India.

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Steinhoff Wants To Pay Directors Huge Bonuses

It wants to pay Steve Booysen and Heather Sonn €200 000 (±R2.9 million) each, and Johan van Zyl €100 000 (nearly R1.5 million). Booysen is head of the audit and risk committee, while Sonn has been acting Steinhoff chairperson since Christo Wiese stepped down on December 14 2017. Separately, the three independent directors were appointed members of an independent board subcommittee in early December.

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Black Business Council Technically Insolvent

As at February 2017, the BBC had total liabilities of R6.2m, compared with assets of R3.6m, which means that its liabilities exceeded its assets by R2.6m, making it technically insolvent, which means the business lobby could struggle to pay its bills at some point. On the same date, the BBC had an accumulated loss of almost R2.6m, up from an accumulated loss of just more than R1mat the end of February 2016.

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FNB Downtime Causes Outrage

Scores of FNB customers took to social media to lambast the financial services provider after downtime hit users on Sunday. In a tweet the company said it was aware of intermittent connectivity issues on select services.

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10 to 15% Less Booking In Cape Town Hotels Due To Drought

Hotels surveyed indicated that they did between 10% and 15% worse in terms of bookings in January and February compared to the same period last year. These hotels also indicated that the situation for the upcoming period from April to September looks worse with bookings down a lot. What is even more concerning to Wesgro is that the survey indicated that hotel reservation books for 2019 are basically “empty” so far compared to 2017.

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Trump Tariffs Send Stocks Tumbling

The world’s major stock markets fell on Thursday as sentiment was rocked by new trade war fears as US President Donald Trump unveiled tariffs on Chinese imports of at least $50bn. Saying it would be the “first of many” trade actions, Trump signed the order that will also look at restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.

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Transnet Seals Deal With South32

Transnet yesterday signed a R10.4billion contract with resources group South32 that will see the state-owned freight rail and logistics company transport 2.6million tons of export manganese per annum over seven-and a-half years. Transnet said it planned to seal a number of similar contracts with other manganese producers to have 12.5million tons of manganese ultimately transported mainly from the Hotazel area in the Northern Cape through the Saldanha and Port Elizabeth ore railway lines each year.

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Naspars Sells 2% Of Tencent Shares

The group said on Thursday it would sell up to 190-million Tencent shares to institutional investors, thereby reducing its interest from 33.2% to 31.2%. That 2% stake was worth about $10.6bn (R125bn) on Thursday, close to the market capitalisation of Nedbank.

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Moody’s Ratings Decision Expected Today

By midnight on Friday South Africans should know whether Moody’s has downgraded SA’s sovereign credit rating to junk, or kept the country at above investment grade. Moody’s was the only major ratings agency to not downgrade South Africa to sub-investment grade in 2017. It currently has the country at one notch above junk.

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Uber Stops Autononous Taxi Testing After Crash

Uber Technologies halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology. The 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department.

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Send Or Receive Money Using Google Assistant

From today, you will be able to send and request money via Google Assistant on your smartphone. Available on both the Android and iOS versions of the Assistant app. Transactions will be handled by Google Pay, and if you’re not already signed up to the service, Assistant will walk you through the set up process before dealing with your request. The person you’re sending money too doesn’t need a Google Pay account to receive funds though.

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