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Mar 13, 2014

Rare China-backed South Africa platinum project on track

JOHANNESBURG, March 13 (Reuters) – With a seven-week strike
all but crippling South Africa’s platinum sector, depressing
prices and pushing up costs, it may seem reckless to build a new
project to mine the metal.

But Wesizwe Platinum, backed by Chinese money, is
pressing on with its mine and on Thursday said it had moved its
target date for full production up by two years to 2020.

Mar 13, 2014

Scenic warm-up for the “Big One”, Lesotho marathon poses own challenges

KATSE DAM, Lesotho, March 13 (Reuters) – The gorgeous
scenery is a welcome distraction from the aches in your legs as
you run along a dirt road twisting through African villages and
up hills so steep you can’t see the tops.

Welcome to the Highlands Trout Mountain Challenge in the
southern African kingdom of Lesotho. Sponsored by and taking its
name from a company that exports trout to Japan, it is one of
the newest entries in a small but growing global phenomenon of
unusual or extreme marathon events.

Mar 10, 2014

Sasol keen for piece of S.Africa shale gas action

JOHANNESBURG, March 10 (Reuters) – South African
petrochemicals group Sasol Ltd is keen to invest in a
domestic shale industry once it gets off the ground, its chief
executive said, in a potential challenge to oil major Royal
Dutch Shell.

South Africa’s cabinet proposed new regulations to govern
exploration for shale gas late last year after it lifted a 2012
moratorium on the activity in the central Karoo region.

Mar 10, 2014

New spat emerges in South Africa’s platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG, March 10 (Reuters) – A public spat emerged on
Monday between South Africa’s labour mediator and the Chamber of
Mines over the former’s handling of talks to end an almost
seven-week strike in the platinum sector, further dashing hopes
of any breakthrough.

There are no scheduled talks between the two sides. The
squabbling between the group representing the producers and the
state mediator makes it doubtful that any government-brokered
negotiations will get off the ground again soon.

Mar 6, 2014

S.Africa’s Eskom imposes first blackouts in six years

JOHANNESBURG, March 6 (Reuters) – The South African state
power utility Eskom imposed rolling blackouts for the
first time since 2008 on Thursday, forcing rail networks and
banks to switch to emergency generators after heavy rains soaked
power station coal supplies.

The blackouts, which Eskom said would last until 2000 GMT,
come at a bad time for President Jacob Zuma and the ruling
African National Congress (ANC), with general elections in two

Mar 5, 2014

Talks collapse, South Africa’s 6-week platinum strike rumbles on

JOHANNESBURG, March 5 (Reuters) – Wage talks between the
world’s top platinum producers and South Africa’s Association of
Mineworkers and Construction workers Union (AMCU) collapsed on
Wednesday, dashing hopes for an early end to a crippling
six-week strike.

The stoppage – in a sector still raw from a series of
violent strikes in 2012 – has hit over 40 percent of global
production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping
catalytic converters in automobiles.

Mar 4, 2014

S. Africa’s AMCU union revises wage demands, platinum strike continues

JOHANNESBURG, March 4 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said on Tuesday it
had revised its wage demands to the world’s top platinum
producers, in its first major concession as a sector-wide strike
rumbles into its sixth week.

The two sides remain far apart on the issue of wages,
however, and AMCU plans a march in Pretoria on Thursday to
protest what it says is government bias in favour of the mining
companies, suggesting its members still plan to be off work

Mar 3, 2014

S.Africa’s AMCU union plans Pretoria march as platinum strike rumbles on

JOHANNESBURG, March 3 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union will stage a march in
Pretoria on Thursday, dimming prospects for a swift resolution
to a five-week strike at the world’s top three platinum

The announcement came as talks continued between the
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), and
mining companies Anglo American Platinum (Amplats),
Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin under the
auspices of a government mediator.

Feb 27, 2014

South Africa platinum strike talks to resume Friday -Implats

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Talks between the world’s
top three platinum producers and South Africa’s striking AMCU
union will resume on Friday in an effort to end a five-week
stoppage over wages, the chief executive of Impala Platinum
(Implats) said.

The industrial action has taken out more than 40 percent of
global output of the precious metal used to make catalytic
converters for automobiles and threatens to derail the sector’s
recovery after damaging wildcat strikes in 2012.

Feb 25, 2014

Pistorius murder trial can be televised, South Africa judge rules

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African judge ruled on Tuesday that the murder trial of Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius can be televised, giving millions around the world direct access to one of the most sensational celebrity trials since O.J. Simpson’s.

Pistorius, 27, has admitted to shooting his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year, but has said it was a tragic accident in which he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
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