Ed's Feed
Aug 12, 2014

Oscar Pistorius verdict hangs on ‘possible improbabilities’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Eighteen months ago when he granted Oscar Pistorius bail after the killing of his girlfriend, South African magistrate Desmond Nair noted a number of “improbabilities” in the Olympic and Paralympic star’s account of the shooting.

After 41 days of testimony and drama in the Pretoria High Court, Pistorius’s freedom hangs on whether the prosecution has made its case well enough to convince judge Thokozile Masipa that such improbabilities cannot be “reasonably possibly true”.

Aug 7, 2014

Investors dump South Africa’s Abil bank, fearing losses too big to fix

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Investors fled African Bank
Investments on Thursday, sending its shares tumbling to
a near-20 year low as the South African lender looked unable to
plug a $790 million hole in its finances from a tide of
unsecured loans that have gone bad.

The bank, widely known as Abil, shocked the market on
Wednesday when it said it needed to raise 8.5 billion rand ($790
million) in new capital after warning of a massive annual loss,
following which its chief executive quit.

Aug 5, 2014

Winnie challenges Nelson Mandela’s will, demands house

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Nelson Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, has launched a legal challenge to the will of the late anti-apartheid leader, the latest sign of feuding and bad blood in South Africa’s first family.

In a letter sent by her lawyer to the executors of Mandela’s estate, Madikizela-Mandela argued that her children should be in charge of Mandela’s ancestral home at Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he was buried in December.

Jul 22, 2014

S.African anti-fracking group threatens legal challenge

JOHANNESBURG, July 22 (Reuters) – A South African
anti-fracking group threatened a legal challenge on Tuesday to
government plans to grant shale gas exploration licences in the
pristine semi-desert of the Karoo, saying the regulatory process
had been marked by “patent ineptitude”.

In a February State of the Nation address, President Jacob
Zuma described shale gas as a “game changer” for the economy and
said Pretoria would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
“within the framework of our good environmental laws”.

Jul 7, 2014

How politics nearly ruined deal to end S.Africa’s longest strike

JOHANNESBURG, July 7 (Reuters) – Forty-eight hours after
talks to end South Africa’s longest strike hit a brick wall when
the mining minister suddenly pulled out, a bishop and an
anti-establishment corporate lawyer engineered a deal at a
secret meeting in a ritzy hotel.

The events, revealed by interviews with key players in the
five-month platinum strike, expose the impotence of the
bargaining structures that have underpinned labour relations
since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

Jun 29, 2014

South African engineering strike to go ahead on July 1 – NUMSA union

JOHANNESBURG, June 29 (Reuters) – More than 220,000 members
of South Africa’s NUMSA engineering and metalworkers union will
down tools on July 1 after last-ditch wage talks to avert a
strike failed, its leaders said on Sunday.

Irvin Jim, Secretary General of South Africa’s largest
union, said NUMSA members would also picket the headquarters of
state power utility Eskom on July 2 as part of a push for a wage
increase of 12 percent, nearly twice the current inflation rate.

Jun 13, 2014

South Africa mining union leader says wage deal imminent

JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) – The leader of South
Africa’s AMCU union said on Friday a wage deal with the world’s
top three platinum producers was imminent, signalling a possible
end to the country’s longest mining strike.

Workers from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) begged leader Joseph Mathunjwa on Thursday to end a
five-month stalemate and sign the latest offer – an increase of
about 20 percent, or 1,000 rand ($93) a month.

Jun 10, 2014

South Africa enters economic deep freeze

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Winter arrived in South Africa this week, covering hills and highlands with snow in a fittingly chill metaphor for an economy beset by everything from labor unrest and flat-lining output to rising inflation and waning external confidence.

South Africa’s problems are many and complex but at their root is the collapse of the balance struck in the dying days of apartheid between the predominantly white world of business and the predominantly black one of organized labor.

May 29, 2014

Africa must tackle poverty to share benefits of strong growth-IMF’s Lagarde

MAPUTO, May 29 (Reuters) – Africa is “taking off” with
strong, steady growth but poverty is unacceptably high so that
governments need to build infrastructure and institutions and
educate people to share the benefits more widely, the IMF’s head
said on Thursday.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow by around 5.5 percent
this year – well above the global average – with some of its
poorest countries expanding by closer to 7 percent, Christine
Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director,
told an IMF conference in the Mozambican capital Maputo.

May 25, 2014

South Africa’s Zuma turns to Gordhan’s deputy as new finance Minister

JOHANNESBURG, May 25 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma promoted deputy finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to
finance minister on Sunday, replacing the widely respected
Pravin Gordhan in a new cabinet line-up to start a second
five-year term in office.

The day after a glitzy inauguration in Pretoria, the
72-year-old Zuma also confirmed millionaire businessman Cyril
Ramaphosa as his deputy president, a decision likely to go down
well with investors and the private sector.