Senior Correspondent
Ed's Feed
Oct 2, 2015

African crops, economies at risk as El Nino threatens to scorch and soak

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Standing
waist-deep in a hole, South African maize farmer Tom van Rooyen
digs at the side with a small pickaxe.

“There is moisture 25 centimetres down but nothing beyond
that. If we get below-average rains, it will be a disaster,” he
said, wiping the red dust from his calloused hands.

Sep 30, 2015

South Africa’s NUM union calls coal miners strike

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 30 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday it would ask its
members in the coal sector to strike after wage talks collapsed.

Africa’s most advanced economy, beset by power shortages,
relies on coal for its electricity and is also a major exporter
to Europe and Asia.

Sep 16, 2015

Critics question fossil find, but South Africa basks in scientific glory

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 16 (Reuters) – A dramatic fossil find has
given South Africa reason to celebrate amid economic gloom, but
some experts question its scientific significance.

By contrast, the political significance is not in doubt.

“We are delighted that discoveries that we would never have
imagined have been found here,” said South African Deputy
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who shared the stage with scientists
last week during the televised announcement of “Homo naledi.”

Sep 10, 2015

Fossil first: ancient human relative may have buried its dead

CRADLE OF HUMANKIND, South Africa (Reuters) – Humanity’s claim to uniqueness just suffered another setback: scientists reported on Thursday that a newly discovered ancient species related to humans also appeared to bury its dead.

Fossils of the creature were unearthed in a deep cave near the famed sites of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, treasure troves 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg that have yielded pieces of the puzzle of human evolution for decades.

Sep 8, 2015

Platinum upgrade to golden reserve status seen as monetary alchemy

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
mining industry, unions and the government want to boost
platinum’s sagging fortunes by promoting it as a central bank
reserve asset, but upgrading the metal to gold’s coveted
financial status will be an uphill struggle.

Obstacles to this attempt at monetary alchemy are many: the
small size of the platinum market, gold’s long history as a
store of value, and the inherent aversion to risk shared by most
central bankers.

Aug 30, 2015

South Africa’s Kruger Park still a magnet for rhino poachers

PRETORIA (Reuters) – The poaching of rhinos has risen in South Africa’s Kruger National Park this year but is on the decline elsewhere in the country, Environment Minister Edna Molewa said on Sunday.

The Kruger Park, South Africa’s main tourist draw, is on the frontlines of a surge in rhino poaching for the animal’s horn to meet demand in countries such as Vietnam, where it is a coveted ingredient in traditional medicine.

Aug 26, 2015

Exclusive: South Africa mine industry job plan targets platinum as central bank reserve asset

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining industry, unions and the government have committed to a broad plan to stem job losses, including boosting platinum by promoting the metal as a central bank reserve asset, according to a draft agreement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The parties also said they would strive to delay lay-offs, sell distressed mining assets instead of closing them, and look at ways of streamlining the legal process which employers must follow to cut jobs.

Aug 26, 2015

South Africa mine industry job plan targets platinum as c.bank reserve asset

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 26 (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining
industry, unions and the government have committed to a broad
plan to stem job losses, including boosting platinum by
promoting the metal as a central bank reserve asset, according
to a draft agreement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The parties also said they would strive to delay lay-offs,
sell distressed mining assets instead of closing them, and look
at ways of streamlining the legal process which employers must
follow to cut jobs.

Aug 25, 2015

Africa’s squandered commodity boom erodes U.S. trade promise

JOHANNESBURG/DAKAR (Reuters) – A fresh U.S. trade pact could provide relief to African economies buffeted by the commodities slump but a failure to reform during the boom years has left many countries unable to profit from tariff-free access to the world’s largest market.

In an effort to boost trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), renewed by Congress for a decade in June, representatives from 39 African countries will hold talks with U.S. officials in oil-rich Gabon this week.

Aug 14, 2015

CSI Kruger: forensic teams scour rhino killing scenes

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa (Reuters) – The killers struck under the light of a full moon, bringing their quarry down with a heavy caliber rifle at close range.

The victim was a young black rhino in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The shots that rang out alerted rangers, who rushed to the area, killing one of the poachers in a shootout. The dead man’s accomplices got away.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
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