Ed's Feed
Oct 27, 2015

Braai-mad South Africa takes WHO meat warning with pinch of salt

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 27 (Reuters) – For many people,
suggestions that meat may cause cancer are a case of doctors
spoiling the party; in South Africa, where cooking it on an open
fire is among the rare pastimes shared by blacks and whites
alike, it is an assault on a way of life.

Digesting news this week that the World Health Organization
(WHO) had classified beef, lamb and pork as “probable”
carcinogens, South Africans said they would take the risk rather
than turn their backs on their nation’s social centrepiece.

Oct 22, 2015

Student protests put added pressure on South African budget

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The line between government finance and the politics of the street in South Africa has seldom been as thin as this week when the next budget was unveiled in parliament and students clashed with police outside.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene stressed his commitment to fiscal consolidation as he presented the interim budget in a bid to convince ratings agencies that he has spending under control in a stagnating economy.

Oct 15, 2015

Slowing growth casts sober light on AB InBev’s African dreams

JWANENG, Botswana, Oct 15 (Reuters) – It’s clocking-off time
at the world’s biggest diamond mine and Rumours Bar on the edge
of the Kalahari is stocked with chilled Carling Black Label and
Castle Lite, two of the beers most favoured by blue collar
workers across southern Africa.

The bar, a barricade of plywood and welded iron lattice, is
empty, but out the back, half a dozen early birds sit on a bare
concrete step sipping Chibuku Shake-Shake, an alcoholic porridge
of water, yeast and sorghum sold in a cardboard carton.

Oct 1, 2015

Johannesburg’s Rand Club, monument of empire, finally calls time

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 1 (Reuters) – After more than a century as
an oasis of Victorian grandeur and increasingly anachronistic
monument to British imperialism in the heart of South Africa’s
biggest city, Johannesburg’s Rand Club is closing its doors.

Founded by British colonialist and mining magnate Cecil
Rhodes in 1887, the year after the gold rush city came into
being, the club served as the watering hole of South Africa’s
richest and most powerful men during most of the 20th century.

Sep 30, 2015

Angola state fund on hunt for African gold, silver, copper

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Angola’s sovereign wealth
fund is looking at opportunities in gold, copper and silver
mining in sub-Saharan Africa as the continent’s number two oil
producer tries to diversify its sources of revenue, its chairman
said on Wednesday.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos, son of long-serving President Jose
Eduardo dos Santos, also said fiscal pressure on the government
from this year’s collapse in oil revenues may force it to push
through long-delayed private sector reforms.

Sep 16, 2015

A decade after write-offs, Africa sliding back into debt trap

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – With their economies floundering and currencies sinking, African states that have borrowed heavily in dollars may be slipping back into the debt trap – and ultimately default – only a decade after a far-reaching round of debt forgiveness.

Some are looking to issue more Eurobonds to refinance existing foreign currency loans, but with U.S. interest rates set to rise soon, the inevitably higher borrowing costs will do little to alleviate pressure on creaking state budgets.

Sep 9, 2015

Sinking currencies reflect grim African prospects

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 9 (Reuters) – A slump in commodity prices
and flight by global investors from risky “frontier” markets has
hammered currencies and state budgets across Africa, increasing
dollar borrowing costs and raising the prospect of political

From Nigeria and Ghana in the west to Kenya in the east and
South Africa and Zambia in the south, currencies have all fallen
against the dollar, and in many cases crashed through historic
lows plumbed in the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Jun 25, 2015

Mozambique turns 40, high on gas prospects

MAPUTO (Reuters) – Mozambique turned 40 on Thursday, mixing formal military parades with exuberant African dancing as it turned from a generation of civil war and poverty to look to a more prosperous future, powered, it hopes, by vast amounts of natural gas.

In contrast to the early years of independence from Portugal in 1975, when the challenge was navigating the choppy waters of the Cold War, the southern African nation’s leaders now face the burden of the growing expectations of its 26 million people.

Jun 15, 2015

In Bashir fiasco, Pretoria makes clear Africa comes first

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – From the moment Omar al-Bashir touched down in South Africa, Pretoria had a choice: arrest the Sudanese president for alleged war crimes and face fury from the rest of the continent, or grant him safe passage home and take flak from the West.

The decision, confirmed by the departure of Bashir’s plane into the skies above the capital on Monday, spoke volumes about South Africa’s priorities – Africa comes first, and legal niceties such as the authority of domestic courts or international statutes a distant second.

Jun 15, 2015

South Africa court bars indicted Sudan leader from leaving

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African judge barred Sudan’s indicted president from leaving the country on Sunday, in a deepening rift between Africa and the West over what Pretoria called anti-poor country bias in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

President Omar al-Bashir, visiting South Africa for an African Union summit, stands accused in an ICC arrest warrant of war crimes and crimes against humanity over atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict. He was first indicted in 2009.