Ed's Feed
May 17, 2013

Mine union threatens to bring South Africa to ‘standstill’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The leader of South Africa’s biggest platinum mining union threatened on Friday to bring Africa’s No. 1 economy “to a standstill” and demanded a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, ramping up the rhetoric in an 18-month labor crisis.

The rand, which tumbled to a four-year low against the dollar on Thursday on fears of a strike at Anglo American Platinum, extended its slide on concerns about further disruptions to an already struggling economy.

May 9, 2013

S. African military flexes muscles ahead of Congo mission

ROODEWAAL ARTILLERY RANGE, South Africa, May 9 (Reuters) -
S outh Africa’s air force showed off its military might on
Thursday with precision bombing and helicopter gunships firing
fusillades of rockets just days ahead of an unprecedented “peace
enforcing” deployment to eastern Congo.

Two months after 13 troops were killed by rebels in Central
African Republic in South Africa’s heaviest military losses
since the end of apartheid, Pretoria is gearing up to send 1,000
soldiers to Democratic Republic of Congo’s volatile border with
Rwanda and Uganda.

Apr 12, 2013

South Africa pitches “Gateway to Africa” image – not all agree

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – With its sophisticated banking system, decent roads and ports and top notch commercial courts, South Africa is pumping itself up as the ‘Gateway to Africa’, the ideal launchpad for foreign capital into the fast-growing but chaotic markets to its north.

However, the logic of tapping into the momentum of a “rising Africa” and finding alternatives to a flatlining Europe – currently the destination of nearly a third of South African exports – does not play well north of Pretoria.

Apr 9, 2013

South African fin min says central bank balancing growth with inflation “fairly well”

PRETORIA, April 9 (Reuters) – South Africa’s central bank
has done reasonably well to balance economic growth and the need
to create jobs while also pursuing its mandate to keep inflation
in check, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.

The comments, in an interview as part of a Reuters
Investment Summit, suggest President Jacob Zuma’s administration
sees no need to encourage the bank to boost growth by loosening
monetary policy 12 months ahead of a general election.

Apr 9, 2013

South Africa’s Gordhan praises central bank policy decisions

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa’s central bank has done well to balance economic growth and the need to create jobs in its policy decisions, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank left the repo rate at a historic low of 5 percent last month, but the OECD has said the bank has room to loosen policy further to stimulate Africa’s biggest economy after a sluggish recovery from a 2009 recession. Most economists polled by Reuters expect rates to stay on hold through 2013.

Mar 25, 2013

Troop deaths dampen South Africa powerbroker dreams

PRETORIA (Reuters) – The death of 13 South African soldiers in fighting against rebels in Central African Republic (CAR) is Pretoria’s worst military setback since the end of apartheid and puts a dent in any ambitions it has of becoming a continental superpower.

To a post-apartheid public not used to the sight of body bags returning from foreign military theatres, President Jacob Zuma’s confirmation on Monday of a bloody nine-hour firefight in an impoverished but mineral-rich country 3,500 km (2,200 miles) away came as a shock.

Mar 7, 2013

Silicosis class action bid filed against Anglo American

JOHANNESBURG, March 7 (Reuters) – Lawyers representing gold
miners suffering from the deadly lung disease silicosis said on
Thursday they had filed a class action lawsuit application
against the South African arm of global mining giant Anglo
American .

The application by the legal groups from South Africa and
Britain is the latest in several class action suits being lined
up against South Africa’s once mighty gold mining industry.

Feb 18, 2013

Pistorius back in court for murder bail hearing

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, is due in court for a second time on Tuesday to apply for bail after being charged with murdering his girlfriend.

The arrest of the 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic sprinter has stunned millions across the world who held him up as a hero for triumphing over adversity to compete with able-bodied athletes at the highest level of sport.

Feb 18, 2013

“Blade Runner” Pistorius back in court for murder bail hearing

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 19 (Reuters) – “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, is due in court for a second time on Tuesday to apply for bail after being charged with murdering his girlfriend.

The arrest of the 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic sprinter has stunned millions across the world who held him up as a hero for triumphing over adversity to compete with able-bodied athletes at the highest level of sport.

Feb 18, 2013

Pistorius murder defence team faces few options

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Ever since ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend was shot dead in his Pretoria home last week, South African papers have printed lurid details of the killing which, if true, pose major challenges to the Paralympic star’s defence team, experts say.

Initial reports of the shooting in the early hours of Thursday suggested Pistorius, 26, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, may have mistaken law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder.