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Nov 19, 2013

Drought threatens small-scale Zambian maize farmers

KABANGWE, Zambia, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Zambia’s staple food
crop, maize, looks set to be significantly dented next year by a
lack of rain that is delaying planting.

Most of the harvest comes from small-scale farmers around
the capital, Lusaka, and these have been badly affected by the
dry spell.

Nov 19, 2013

Small Zambia cash grants pay big dividends for rural poor

LUSAKA (Reuters) – In rural Africa, where money is scarce and subsistence farming the norm, even small injections of cash can go far and help grow a local economy in surprising ways.

These are among the findings of a study by the Washington-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), which over a two-year period analyzed Zambia’s monthly child grants to extremely poor households in three rural districts.

Nov 15, 2013

Northam Platinum says strike by S.African union continues

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) – South African platinum
producer Northam Platinum said talks on Friday had
failed to break a deadlock over wages with the National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM), leaving no immediate end in sight to a strike
which started almost two weeks ago.

“Northam has indicated its willingness to continue with
facilitated talks, and is encouraged by the NUM’s positive
reaction to the recommendation of further discussions,” the
company said in a statement.

Nov 11, 2013

Tide turns on one front in Africa’s war against rhino poachers

MADIKWE GAME RESERVE, South Africa (Reuters) – New infantry-style tactics of concealment and ambush by armed park rangers are credited with turning the tide in the war against poachers of the endangered rhino on one front, in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve.

The slaughter of rhinos – a creature regarded as an icon of African wildlife – for their horns to meet soaring demand in Asia has raised alarm bells among conservationists.

Nov 6, 2013

South African ex-union official gunned down on volatile platinum belt

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Attackers gunned down a former senior union official at platinum producer Lonmin, stoking political and industrial tensions on South Africa’s volatile platinum belt.

Police said the former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward was ambushed outside his home in the mining town of Mooinooi on Sunday night and died of his injuries on Tuesday.

Nov 6, 2013

AngloGold surges back to profit as output rises

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Africa’s top bullion producer, surged back to profit in the third quarter due to lower costs and higher production which sent its share price soaring on Wednesday.

Adjusted headline earnings were $576 million compared with a loss of $135 million in the previous three months and bringing its earnings to 148 U.S. cents per share, far ahead of a Reuters consensus from five analysts of 8.2 cents.

Nov 5, 2013

South African police fire rubber bullets at protest by new party

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police fired rubber bullets on Tuesday to disperse a protest march organized by a firebrand new political party and arrested four people, highlighting tensions building ahead of general elections next year.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), headed by Julius Malema, the expelled “bad boy” of the ruling African National Congress, said in a statement an unspecified number of its members were injured in the march near the main government buildings in the capital Pretoria.

Oct 31, 2013

Lonmin pay dispute tees up sector-wide South African platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The hardline AMCU union declared a wage dispute with mining company Lonmin on Thursday, raising the possibility of a strike across South Africa’s platinum industry that could hit half of global output.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) would stay in talks with the world’s third largest platinum producer, but if no progress was made a government mediator would try to resolve the deadlock, AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama said.

Oct 31, 2013

S.Africa’s NUM union gives Northam Platinum strike notice

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 31 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has given junior producer Northam
Platinum 48-hour notice of its intention to strike
after wage talks broke down, a union negotiator said on

A government mediator on Monday granted NUM permission to
call for a strike at Northam.

Oct 28, 2013

South Africa’s AMCU union says members vote for Implats strike

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 28 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union said on Monday its members
voted to strike at Impala Platinum, but it would not
immediately give the company a 48-hour notice, suggesting a
stoppage might still be averted.

“Yes, we got the mandate, they voted for the strike. But we
are not in a rush to serve them notice, we want to clear up and
discuss some issues first,” AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama told
Reuters. AMCU’s wage talks with the world’s second-largest
platinum producer broke down last week.

    • 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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