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Feb 8, 2012

ANC mine study seeks new taxes, buries nationalisation

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN, Feb 8 (Reuters) – A study
submitted to South Africa’s ruling ANC to reform its vital
mining sector proposes a 50 percent tax on profits and rejects
nationalisation as an “unmitigated disaster” for Africa’s
largest economy.

Although it delivers a hammer blow to calls for
nationalisation by radical elements in the African National
Congress (ANC), mining houses will be wary of the tax proposals
as they grapple with steeply rising labour, power and safety
costs in the world’s largest platinum producer.

Feb 7, 2012

S.Africa mines minister targets CEOs on fatalities

CAPE TOWN, Feb 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s mines
minister said on Tuesday that industry chief executives should
be held liable for avoidable fatalities, also raising the
possibility of court action.

Targeting chief executives would take her safety drive to
new levels as the government tries to stem the death toll in the
country’s mines, the world’s deepest and among the most

Feb 6, 2012

Harmony cuts output goal on safety clampdown

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Harmony Gold
, South Africa’s third-largest bullion miner, cut its
full-year production target by 13 percent on Monday, as safety
stoppages threatened to crimp a surge in profit from record gold

Harmony’s chief executive warned the frequency of
government-mandated safety stoppages was creating tension
between South Africa’s mining industry and government.

Jan 22, 2012

Police deployed as S.Africa cleans up Malema base

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Armed police guards
are protecting a South African treasury team sent to fix the
finances of a bankrupt province that is a base for firebrand ANC
youth leader Julius Malema, a sign of political tensions ahead
of an appeal that will decide his fate.

Malema, the leader of the ruling African National Congress’
Youth League, is fighting for his political life with an appeal
that starts on Monday against his 5-year suspension handed down
in November by the party for bringing it into disrepute.

Jan 21, 2012

Madagascar’s Ravalomanana back in S.Africa

Madagascar’s exiled former leader Marc Ravalomanana was back
where he started on Saturday after a plane flying him home was
ordered to turn around mid-flight and returned to Johannesburg’s
main international airport.

Ravalomanana’s second failed bid in less than a year to
return could have ended in his arrest and would have stoked
political tensions on the impoverished Indian Ocean island. He
has been in self-imposed exile for almost 3 years since his
toppling in a military coup

Jan 6, 2012

Analysis: Food price pressures weigh heavy on southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG/LUSAKA (Reuters) – A tight grain supply outlook after several bumper harvests is set to fan food price pressures in southern Africa, fuelling salary demands and threatening to knock the region’s fragile economies out of kilter.

Erratic rains have delayed the planting of the crucial maize crop in Zambia, pushing inflation towards double digits, while bread basket South Africa is importing the staple despite abundant harvests because of worries it has exported too much.

Dec 29, 2011

Record number of ivory seizures in 2011: WWF

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A record number of large scale ivory seizures will be recorded globally in 2011, pointing to a surge in elephant poaching in Africa to meet Asian demand for tusks for use in jewelry and ornaments, a monitoring group said Thursday.

TRAFFIC, a conservation group which tracks trends in wildlife trading, said there have been at least 13 large-scale seizures of over 800 kg (2,000 pounds) of ivory in 2011, more than double the 6 recorded in 2010.

Dec 15, 2011

Court to decide on S.Africa political mining case

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 15 (Reuters) – A South African court
will decide on Thursday whether or not a small but politically
connected company with no mining experience can keep a
prospecting right it was awarded.

But the stakes are far bigger than one dispute, as the case
has rattled investor confidence in Africa’s largest economy and
could have multi-billion rand consequences for Kumba Iron Ore
and Arcelormittal South Africa.

Dec 13, 2011

British mercenary details failed coup in book

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – British mercenary Simon Mann may be one of the luckiest foiled coup plotters in history.

The soldier of fortune expected to spend the rest of his days rotting in a tropical dungeon for his role in an attempted African putsch in 2004 that went horribly awry.

Dec 12, 2011

S.Africa platinum sector hit by safety stoppages

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Northam Platinum
, one of South Africa’s smaller platinum producers, said
on Monday its only producing mine has been hit by several
stoppages due to government safety inspections, part of a wider
campaign that has hit the sector.

Analysts have speculated that a sharp fall in overall
platinum production in South Africa in October was the result of
increased stoppages related to surprise inspections as part of a
government drive to boost safety.

    • 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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