Ramaphosa Suspends Tom Moyane

SARS commissioner Tom Moyane has been suspended with immediate effect. According to the presidency, President Cyril Ramaphosa has cited among his reasons the “deterioration in public confidence in the SARS and public finances being compromised” due to the ongoing controversy at the tax agency under Moyane’s leadership. Earlier Business Day reported that Moyane had refused to step down after he was asked to resign by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Mark Kingon has been appointed as Acting Commissioner

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Deloitte Disciplinary Hearing On ABIL Conduct Begins

Public disciplinary hearings into Deloitte’s audit of African Bank Investments Limited (Abil) began on Monday, in what is the biggest case the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) has handled since its formation in 2006. IRBA is also reviewing Deloitte’s audit files on Steinhoff for 2014 to 2016.

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Busses And Taxis Suspended In Ekhurhuleni

Public transport will grind to a halt in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday as the taxi industry will go on strike over the planned roll-out of the bus-rapid transport (BRT) system. As a result of the anticipated protest, the City of Ekurhuleni said that Harambee bus services will be suspended as a precautionary measure for the day following a threat of violence.

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Tiger Brands Sets Aside R425Million For Class Action

Tiger Brands is recalling yet another batch of products, a move that could cost it up to R800m, twice the R324m in operating profit generated by its snacks, treats and beverages division for the financial year to end-September. About R377m of the costs arising from the listeria crisis are attributable to the sales value of contaminated products and the destruction of the items returned. This includes the reimbursement for the recall of products produced at the Germiston, Clayville and Polokwane sites. The remainder of the costs could serve as a payout of an estimated R425m that could be sought in a looming class action case.

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Third Of SA’s Water Lost To Poor Infrastructure

Over a third of SA’s water supply is being lost due to aged and leaking infrastructure before it can be used. That’s according to CSIR principal researcher and research group leader for resource-specific scientific measures Marius Claassen. Claassen, speaking during a panel discussion on Thursday ahead of World Water Day, said countrywide an average of 37% of SA’s water supply was lost before it reached users due to leaks.

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Pick n Pay and Absa Launch New Stokvel Product

The Grocery Stokvel account is the product of a collaboration between Absa Bank and Pick n Pay stores. The aim is to give communities or groups with a common savings goal an opportunity to make purchases of better value and earn interest on their savings at the same time. With the new Grocery Stokvel Account, stokvels are able to earn a very competitive interest rate on balances of as little as R50, and spend their money safely and conveniently at Pick n Pay, where they receive further savings on groceries.

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Currencies: Bcoin R106,602 . Ether R6,763 . R/USD11.99 . R/GBP16.85 . R/EUR14.82

 

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Ramaphosa Clarifies Land reform Plans

South Africa’s government will ensure land reform takes place as a matter of urgency without harming agricultural production, but it won’t allow people to forcibly take over farms, President Cyril Ramaphosa said. A land audit released by the government in February showed that farms and agricultural holdings comprise 97% of the 121.9 million hectares of the nation’s area. Whites own 72% of the 37 million hectares held by individuals, more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

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SOE’s Present Revival Plans

Chief executives of state-owned entities (SOEs) this week presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with ambitious proposals to reignite the South African economy. The business leaders, led by Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko, said that the plans were aimed at rekindling manufacturing, meaningful employment in the crucial agriculture sector and the development of logistics systems to accelerate economic growth, among others.

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Zuma Should Pay His Own Fees If Guilty

Responding to a question from EFF leader Julius Malema, Ramaphosa revealed that the government had contributed a total of R15.3m towards Zuma’s legal costs since 2006. Of this amount, approximately R7.5m was spent between 2006 and the withdrawal of the corruption charges against Zuma in 2009. The state had paid a total R7.8m on Zuma’s legal costs since 2009. Ramaphosa explained that Zuma had entered into an agreement with the government that the money would be paid back if he is found to have been personally responsible for the crimes he was accused of.

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A Third of Moz Plants Destroyed By Pests And Disease

Pests and disease sweeping through Mozambique have destroyed at least a third of the country’s agricultural crops over the past 11 months, a government spokeswoman said. More than 41,000 hectares of crops in Mozambique have been affected by pests including caterpillars and fruit flies.

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KPMG And Deloitte Fined By US Authorities

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has slapped KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and BDO for their involvement in audit work that circumvented its guidelines. The firms agreed to settle the charges by paying penalties or disgorging their profits from the audits.Without admitting or denying the findings, BDO Canada agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty, KPMG in South Africa agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty, Deloitte in Zimbabwe agreed to pay disgorgement and interest totaling $99,057, and KPMG in Zimbabwe agreed to pay disgorgement and interest totaling $141,305. 
Toys R Us Officially Shuts

Toys R Us employees have been informed that the company is selling or closing all its US stores as part of a liquidation plan. According to USA Today, Toys R Us will file liquidation papers in advance of a court hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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3500 Tons Of Polony And Cold Meat Returned

Tiger Brands had recalled 3 500 tons of its Enterprise ready-to-eat, chilled meat products by Monday. This, as it awaits the outcome of a report it commissioned on why the ST6 strain of listeria was found at its Polokwane facility.

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Bitcoin Drops Below $8000

The price of bitcoin is down to start the day, dropping below $8,000 during early-hours trading on Thursday according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). At press time, the price of bitcoin is roughly $7,811.22 across global exchanges, a figure that represents a decline of over $300 from the day’s open, and the lowest price observed on the index since Feb. 11, when the BPI hit a low of $7,845.13.

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Currencies: R97,904 . Ether R7,325 . R/USD11.77 . R/GBP16.45 . R/EUR14.57

Ramphosa Grounds Ministers & Deputies

Reshuffling the Cabinet would be handled with speed, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Sunday after a special meeting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) in Pretoria. Cyril Ramaphosa has also instructed all cabinet ministers and their deputies not to travel overseas until further notice which has fueled rumors of an imminent new cabinet announcement.

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Black Panther Flies Past $700 Million

Black Panther was the number one film in the U.S. for the second weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $108 million at the box office. “Black Panther” becomes only the fourth film ever to cross $100 million in its second weekend, joining “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Avengers.” It is the second highest second weekend for a film behind only “Force Awakens.” Black Panther has also crossed the $700 million mark globally in just two weekends of release and will cross $400 million domestically on Sunday, its 10th day of release. The film has yet to open in China or Japan.

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Evander Mine To Retrench 1722 Workers

Evander Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Pan African Resources, is set to retrench 1722 mineworkers in Mpumalanga. The miner has served the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with Section 189(3) notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench the workers. The company informed NUM that the retrenchments were as a result of an old mine with deteriorating and inadequate infrastructure, high operating costs such as rising electricity, labour costs, and a low gold price.

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VW Settles US Emissions Lawsuit

Volkswagen AG came to an agreement to settle a lawsuit over the company’s marketing of clean-emissions vehicles, resolving a contentious fight over consumer fraud claims just before it was about to go to trial. The suit was dismissed on Friday by Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce D. White on agreement of the parties, before it was scheduled to begin Feb. 26 in Virginia, according to a copy of the filing provided by Michael Melkersen, lawyer for plaintiff David Doar, owner of a 2014 Jetta.

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Samsung S9 And S9+ Prices Released

Technomobi and Dion Wired have opened pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The smartphones – which are set to arrive in South Africa in March – are priced as follows at both retailers with the Galaxy S9 retailing at R15,499 while the S9+ will sell for R17,999

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CemAir AMO Suspension Lifted

SACAA announced on Saturday that it has lifted, with immediate effect, the suspension of CemAir’s AMO approval. This was after CemAir’s successful completion of a five-phase certification process that included, among others, document evaluation and demonstration phases. “Whilst CemAir has successfully regained its AMO approval privileges, the status quo relating to their 12 aircraft remains the same – meaning that the aircraft are yet to be declared as airworthy by the SACAA and released back to service,” SACAA said in a statement.

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Currencies: Bcoin R117,500 . Ether R10,357 . R/USD11.52 . R/GBP16.15 . R/EUR14.20

R1.4 M Reward For Duduzane and Ajay

One of the country’s richest women Magda Wierzycka is offering R900 000 of her own money to help authorities track down and arrest Ajay Gupta and Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane who are understood to be fugitives. An additional R500 000 has been offered as top-up for the the initial R500 00o by Forensic for Justice reward “for Gupta and Duduzane.” She is offering a further R200 000 “for the first bodyguard to Ajay Gupta who phones in”. She said the bodyguard will still receive the money even if the person who made the call is the “wife or girlfriend.”

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Ramaphosa Intervenes On Mining Charter

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was sidelined in talks between President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chamber of Mines to open talks around the Mining Charter and to postpone a court case to review and set aside the document. Statements were issued by the Presidency and the chamber on Sunday regarding the agreed postponement of the court case and agreement between the industry body and the Department of Mineral Resources for the delay.

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Transnet Tries To Absolve Executives Of Wrongdoing

An unusual disagreement has arisen between state-owned transport company Transnet and corporate law firm Werksmans following Transnet’s statement last week that there was no cause “at this stage” for disciplinary processes or suspensions of any of its officials in connection with alleged impropriety in the R54bn procurement process of 1,064 locomotives from four original equipment suppliers in 2014.

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Mkhwebane Could Pay Own Legal Fees

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane could soon be R900,000 poorer, following a judgment that left the door open for a further order that she abused her office in her handling of the Absa-Bankorp matter. In Friday’s judgment, Pretorius ordered that Mkhwebane pay 15% of the Bank’s costs from her own pocket. The remaining 85% was to be paid by her office, which was also ordered to pay Absa’s legal fees.

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Matshela Koko Resigns

Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko on Friday became the latest executive to leave the power utility. In December, an Eskom disciplinary hearing failed to prove another set of misconduct charges against him. These included alleged failure to declare the interests of his daughter-in-law in Impulse International, a company that was doing business with Eskom.

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Cartrack Offers R9.99  Car Theft Insurance

Cartrack has launched a R9.99-a-month theft-only insurance product. The JSE-listed group on Friday said the “first-to-market innovative insurance offering for vehicle theft” targeted the uninsured market in South Africa.According to the Automobile Association of South Africa, around 70% of the more than 12-million registered vehicles in the country are uninsured.

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Currencies: Bcoin R130k . Eth R11,369 . R/USD11.66 . R/GBP16.35 . R/EUR14.47

Ramaphosa Wins ANC Presidency Race

Ramaphosa’s victory was announced at the ANC’s elective conference in Gauteng after he nosed ahead of his opponent‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Ramaphosa received 2‚440 votes and Dlamini-Zuma got 2‚261. Gwede Mantashe is the new national chairperson and Paul Mashatile the new treasurer general. Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza was elected deputy president‚ Ace Magashule is the incoming secretary general and Jessie Duarte retained her position as deputy secretary general.

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Rand Rallies On Ramaphosa Win

The rand cheered as the ANC announced the new president of the politic party following the election process that kicked of on Saturday (16 December 2017). The rand firmed 2% on Friday as the ANC prepared to elect its new leader. At 10am on Monday, the rand was trading at R13.09 against the dollar and shortly after the announcement; the rand firmed to R12.59 against the US dollar.
DA Files Criminal Charges Against Koko

DA) says it has filed criminal charges against the reinstated acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko following what it calls the sham of a disciplinary hearing. Koko was found not guilty of all charges relating to misconduct during disciplinary procedures which led to his reinstatement.

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Biggest IPO In History 

The markets are awaiting what is expected to be the biggest public offering in history. An IPO so big it will likely make any Silicon Valley unicorn look like a blip in the market. The Saudi’s plan is to offer up to 5% of Aramco in the flotation at a currently predicted price of $100 billion. This would give Aramco a valuation of $2 trillion, making it the largest IPO ever. Initially, the sale was expected to take place in early 2018, but the anticipated date is now late 2018 or early 2019.

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Micro Insurance Closer To Reality

The long-awaited Insurance Bill was among a number of pieces of legislation passed by the National Council of Provinces at its final scheduled plenary sitting for 2017 last week – good news for lower-income South Africans, because it brings access to micro-insurance one step closer.

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New Minimum Wage For Domestic Workers

The department of labour has released the sectoral determination for domestic workers, showing the new minimum wages for domestics across South Africa – at least until the national minimum wage comes into effect. According to the latest determination, domestic workers must get paid a minimum of R1,641 up to R2,545, depending on which area you live in. This is a 5% increase from 2017’s rates.

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Currencies: R305,693. Ether R13,552. R/USD12.78 . R/GBP17.08 . R/EUR15.08

More Money Needed For Nkandla

Government is set to spend “millions” in taxpayers’ money on president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, according to a report by the Sunday Times. The Department of Public Works said that plans were in place to refurbish the property, repair “shoddy workmanship”, and address security concerns. While the assessment is not complete, the cost of additional upgrades and repairs could run into millions of rand.

Source : https://goo.gl/93Iv7s

PetroSA Board Told To Resign

Central Energy Fund (CEF) chairman Luvo Makasi has told the board of troubled state-owned oil company PetroSA to resign with immediate effect. Leadership and management instability have plagued CEF subsidiary PetroSA, which has suffered huge financial losses over the past three years. In a letter sent to the board at the end of March, Makasi said the CEF had been concerned for some time about the strategic direction, financial standing and management of PetroSA.

Source : https://goo.gl/WMuVx5

Cyril Ramaphosa Launches Presidential Bid

“Corruption must be rooted out” and anyone found guilty must be dealt with severely, Ramaphosa said at a memorial for the late ANC leader Chris Hani in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Allegations of families and people unduly influencing government appointments and contracts should be “of great concern” to the ANC, he said, adding that he supports a judicial commission of inquiry into charges of state capture.

Source : https://goo.gl/gLnXFY

Lynn Browne Blocks Brian Molefe Payout

The Sunday Times reported a fortnight ago that Molefe was due to get a R30.1-million golden handshake from Eskom. He told the newspaper that he was to be paid what was due to him but refused to give a figure. Brown said yesterday she could not support the payout because there was no justification for it. “I found the argument presented by the board lacking in legal rationale and it cannot be substantiated as a performance reward because Molefe has already been granted a performance bonus for his contribution to the turnaround of Eskom,” said Brown.

Source : https://goo.gl/xL5nZf

Net1 Denies Wrongdoing In Sassa Payments Saga

Net1 has come out with guns blazing in a bid to “set the record straight”, releasing a Sens announcement and links to 23 documents that it claims prove that accusations against the group have no merit. The documents, which include court rulings, relate to its controversial South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) contract to distribute social grants to 11-million recipients.

Source : https://goo.gl/MDbtPl

Venezuela Down To $10bn In The Bank

Venezuela only has $10 billion in reserves — the cash that’s intended to keep an economy stable and weather tough times. What’s worse: most of those reserves aren’t in hard cash. About $7 billion is in gold bars, which doesn’t make it easy to make payments. Venezuela has a lot of bills to pay soon. It owes $6 billion in debt payments for the rest of this year. There’s also no sign that the country’s lone source of revenue – oil exports – will be able to pay down those debts. Venezuela is running the risk of defaulting on its debt this year, meaning it wouldn’t be able to get more loans to pay for basics like food and medicine

Source : https://goo.gl/iIZHQC

Indicators : Oil 52.25 – Rand/USD 13.00 – Rand/GBP 16.59 – Rand/EUR 14.12

Cosatu Derails MinWage Agreement

Cosatu took its Nedlac counterparts by surprise on Tuesday, putting the brakes on a minimum wage deal that everyone thought was in the bag. The signing-in ceremony for the minimum wage deal that was due to take place on Tuesday had to be postponed indefinitely when it emerged that Cosatu was still not happy with the package. However Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has already signed the deal according to secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) Dennis George as saying it was a done deal.

Cell C Downgraded To Junk Status

S&P Global says Cell C missed interest payments and has been given the “d” rating for defaulting. The company has been working with Blue Label Telecoms to reduce its debt. This includes a planned 45% acquisition of Cell C by Blue Label. However, apart from the downgrade, S&P Global says it notes that Cell C has not sought bankruptcy protection and expects that it will continue to operate and meet its payroll and supplier obligations.

MTN Shares Drop And It Expects Full Year Loss

MTN’s share price lost nearly 7% to R110 on Wednesday morning after it warned shareholders it expected to report a basic and headline loss per share for the year to end-December. It said the loss was mainly due to the fine it received in Nigeria for failing to identify subscribers. The fine will drag its basic and headline earnings per share down by about R4.74.

SABC Loses Appeal To Bring Hlaudi Back

The SABC’s attempts to get Hlaudi Motsoeneng back have been dealt a blow after the Western Cape High Court dismissed the appeal application on Tuesday. The SABC had appealed the removal of Motsoeneng from the SABC and the matter was argued in the High Court last week.

Ngubane Denies Hiding Eskom Report

Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane says he is not deliberately hiding anything which is of public interest regarding the report by law firm Dentons. Dentons had been was appointed to look into the state of affairs at Eskom in 2008 when the country suffered from a blackout costing the economy billions of rands.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 54.77 – Rand/USD 13.51 – Rand/GBP 16.85 – Rand/EUR 14.40