Zuma To Make First Court Appearance

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

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Steinhoff Drops Director Bonuses Plans

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

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Unpaid Etolls Now Valued At R9.2 Billion

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

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Consol Glass To relist On JSE

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

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Govt Wage Bill Now At R587 Billion

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

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Sappi Signs Govt Power Plant Deal

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

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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

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ANC R50m Elections Propaganda Campaign

In an article by the Mail & Guardian, it is claimed that the ANC sought to undermine the election campaigns of the EFF and DA through a covert propaganda campaign that would have used various media platforms to discredit opposition parties. The plan was to spread fake news and use influencers to push voters to the ANC while tarnishing the opposition. This emerged in a court affidavit by PR expert Sihle Bolani who claims she is owed R2.2m for work done as part of “The War Room”. The ANC has denied these accusations.

Sanral Prepares 6286 Sumons For Outstanding E-toll’s

Sanral has prepared 6,286 summonses in a bid to recover R6.2bn in outstanding e-toll debt from Gauteng motorists. Sanral is also gearing up for its legal fight with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse over an e-toll test case, which could provide final clarity on how the user-pays principle should be applied. Sanral has R38bn in debt that has to be serviced.

Reserve Bank To Announce Interest Rate Decision Today

South Africa’s Reserve Bank, led by Governor Lesetja Kganyago, may leave the benchmark repurchase rate at 7% for a fifth straight meeting, according to all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Low metal prices, weak global demand and a drought probably cut expansion in South Africa to the lowest since a 2009 recession, according to government estimates.

Trump Pulls Out Of Pacific Trade Deal

Donald Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, distancing America from its Asian allies. The TPP accord, backed heavily by US business, was negotiated by former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration but never approved by Congress.

Brit Supreme Court Rules Brexit Exit Must Be Voted On By Parliament

The highest UK court ruled Prime Minister Theresa May must seek the permission of Parliament to trigger the two-year countdown to Brexit, handing lawmakers a chance to soften the government’s plan. The judges said the withdrawal will make a fundamental change by cutting off the source of European Union law, as well as changing legal rights.

U.S To Sell $418m In Military Aircraft To Kenya

he U.S. State Department has approved a possible $418 million sale to Kenya of aircraft with weapons and related support. This expense for a country which cant pay its doctors is baffling.

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