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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.

May 13, 2014

South African police deployed to platinum belt to protect miners

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police deployed additional officers to the platinum belt on Tuesday to protect miners returning to work this week, a police spokesman said, as producers pushed ahead with plans to end the country’s longest and most costly strike.

The four-month strike has halted 40 percent of normal global platinum production and dented already sluggish growth in Africa’s most advanced economy.

May 7, 2014

South Africans vote in first ‘Born Free’ election

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africans voted in the first “Born Free” election on Wednesday, with polls suggesting the allure of the ruling African National Congress as the conqueror of apartheid will prevail even among those with no memory of white-minority rule.

Voters young and old wrapped up against the early morning chill to stand in long lines across the country, evoking memories of the huge queues that snaked through streets and fields for South Africa’s historic all-race elections in 1994.

Apr 23, 2014

South Africa’s ‘Born Frees’ struggle with history

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – When Nkululeko Simelane was born on April 27, 1994, her parents did not have to think twice about her name.

Her birth coincided with South Africa’s first multi-racial elections, the momentous day that ended three centuries of white domination and 46 years of formalized oppression of the black majority under apartheid.