Ed's Feed
Nov 15, 2013

Some see window-dressing in S. Africa data changes

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Surprise tweaks to South
Africa’s trade and budget numbers in the last month have
sprinkled hope on a grim economic outlook but also sparked
accusations of window-dressing by Pretoria to appease the
ratings agencies breathing down its neck.

After making changes that produced an unexpected drop last
month in the budget deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP, the Treasury
revealed late on Thursday it would be including small neighbours
Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland in monthly trade
figures, a measure that should trim the trade deficit.

Nov 8, 2013

Radical reds upset South Africa’s political color balance

BEKKERSDAL, South Africa (Reuters) – Color has always been central to South African politics, but now, nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid, the tint of your T-shirt matters as much as that of your skin.

While the yellow, green and black of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) remains dominant, it is the bright red of an ultra-leftist party founded by expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema that is making the big splash.

Nov 8, 2013

Radical reds upset South Africa’s political colour balance

BEKKERSDAL, South Africa (Reuters) – Colour has always been central to South African politics, but now, nearly 20 years after the end of apartheid, the tint of your T-shirt matters as much as that of your skin.

While the yellow, green and black of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) remains dominant, it is the bright red of an ultra-leftist party founded by expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema that is making the big splash.

Nov 4, 2013

S.Africa defends investment law overhaul, Brussels concerned

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 4 (Reuters) – A new South African
investment law should come into force next year to replace a
raft of individual, 20-year-old treaties but foreign investors
will be adequately protected and have nothing to fear, trade
minister Rob Davies said on Monday.

Pretoria let bilateral treaties agreed with European nations
shortly before the end of apartheid lapse last month, to the
concern of investors and diplomats who say the replacement law
does not offer the same protections.

Oct 28, 2013

Insight: Water, wealth and whites – South Africa’s potent anti-fracking mix

NIEU-BETHESDA, South Africa (Reuters) – Stretching across the heart of South Africa, the Karoo has stirred emotions for centuries, a stunning semi-desert wilderness that draws artists, hunters and the toughest of farmers.

It is now rousing less romantic passions.

If energy companies and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) get their way, it will soon be home to scientists and geologists mapping out shale gas fields touted as game-changers for Africa’s biggest economy, and working out whether fracking will work here.

Oct 28, 2013

Water, wealth and whites – S.Africa’s potent anti-fracking mix

NIEU-BETHESDA, South Africa, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Stretching
across the heart of South Africa, the Karoo has stirred emotions
for centuries, a stunning semi-desert wilderness that draws
artists, hunters and the toughest of farmers.

It is now rousing less romantic passions.

If energy companies and the ruling African National Congress
(ANC) get their way, it will soon be home to scientists and
geologists mapping out shale gas fields touted as game-changers
for Africa’s biggest economy, and working out whether fracking
will work here.

Sep 25, 2013

Anglo South Africa settles silicosis case with 23 gold miners

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Anglo American’s South
African arm has settled a compensation claim by 23 gold miners
with the lung disease silicosis, bringing an industry-wide deal
potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars closer, a
lawyer said on Wednesday.

Details of the settlement are confidential although Richard
Meeran, the London-based lawyer who first brought the suit
against the global mining giant in 2004, said he and his clients
were “very happy” with the deal.

Sep 13, 2013

Swaziland’s royal ruler squashes reform hopes

LOZITHA, Swaziland (Reuters) – It was described as a divine message received in a thunderstorm, a surprise rebirth of Swaziland’s traditional “Tinkhundla” political system that triggered faint hopes of reform in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

But a week before voters go to the polls in the landlocked southern African nation, King Mswati III admitted the “Monarchal Democracy” he had presented to an obedient Swazi press this month was merely a name change for foreign consumption.

Aug 2, 2013

Hunting in Harare: Zimbabwe’s elusive voters’ roll

HARARE (Reuters) – It is a list of 6.4 million names and addresses printed on A3 paper and compiled in no fewer than 1,958 binders weighing well over two tons. Or it can be reduced to a slim CD.

Finding, in any format, the Zimbabwean voters’ roll, the document at the center of a disputed landslide election victory claimed by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, is not easy.

Aug 2, 2013

Zimbabwe’s MDC considers protests against Mugabe landslide

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Friday it could take to the streets to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s victory in an election it rejects as a farce and which faces skepticism from the West.

No results of the presidential vote on July 31 have been announced. But Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has already claimed a resounding win and interim tallies of the parliamentary count suggest a massive victory for the 89-year-old, Africa’s oldest president, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.