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May 21, 2015

S.Africa’s NUM union wants 84 pct pay increase for gold workers

JOHANNESBURG, May 21 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will push for an 84 percent rise in
basic pay for entry-level gold mining workers, a near 10
percentage-point increase on previous demands, according to
documents obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

They show that the NUM, which represents 57 percent of the
workforce in the goldmining industry, want employers to pay
entry-level workers a basic 10,500 rand ($888) a month.

Apr 23, 2015

Exclusive: South Africa mine union plans to demand gold wage hikes of 75 percent – sources

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is planning to submit demands to the gold sector next week calling for a 75-percent hike in the basic pay for entry-level workers, according to union sources familiar with the matter.

“For the basic wage at the entry level, we are planning to demand a raise to 10,000 rand ($823) a month in the first year from 5,700 rand at present,” said one NUM source, who asked not to be named. This was confirmed by a second source in the union.

Apr 15, 2015

Extreme fishing: “Tiger” hunting in hippo and croc country

KOMATIPOORT, South Africa, April 15 (Reuters) – You know the
fishing is “not run of the mill” when your guide points to the
path you’re on and says “those are hippo tracks”.

But if you are after tigerfish, you sometimes need to stray
onto a hippo-beaten path. South African fishing guide Craig
McLean calls it “extreme fishing”.

Apr 7, 2015

Russian industrial giant looks to Africa to boost exports

MOSCOW/JOHANNESBURG, April 7 (Reuters) – Russia is persuing
costly state oil and platinum projects in Africa despite an
economic crisis at home, hoping they will bolster sales,
including of arms, for businesses hit by Western sanctions over
the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow has mostly focused on building ties with Asia since
the U.S. and European Union sanctions came into force last year,
but the Africa deals signal a desire to rebuild what was a big
market for its weapons and technology during the Soviet era.

Mar 19, 2015

New farmers take root in South Africa’s old tribal lands

LOSKOP, South Africa, March 19 (Reuters) – New farmers are
turning the soil to profit in South Africa’s old tribal
homelands as Pretoria speeds the transfer of land from whites to

Land is an emotive issue in South Africa, with most
remaining in white hands 21 years after the end of apartheid
despite the ruling African National Congress’s efforts at

Mar 19, 2015

Battered Africa gold valuations to spur mines sales

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Some of the lowest
valuations in decades and rising pressure on Africa’s gold
producers to restructure or perish are likely to spur a wave of
acquisitions in a sector attracting a growing number of
potential buyers.

Most gold companies failed to cash in on rising gold prices
in the decade to 2011, overspending instead on costly growth
projects and loading up with debt.

Mar 12, 2015

Weak rand double-edged sword for mining companies in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON March 12 (Reuters) – The sliding rand is
a double-edged sword for mining companies in South Africa, with
cost inflation, wage claims and potential labour unrest
outweighing the gains that exporters traditionally derive from
domestic currency weakness.

The drop in the rand , near 13-year lows against
the dollar, should benefit diversified mining giants such as
Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore
as well as domestic companies such as gold producers
Gold Fields and Anglo Gold Ashanti.

Mar 9, 2015

S.Africa’s Sasol may expand U.S. cracker, sell power to Eskom

JOHANNESBURG, March 9 (Reuters) – South African
petrochemicals group Sasol could expand its $8.9
billion cracker project in the U.S. state of Louisiana depending
on market conditions, its chief executive said.

Sasol is going ahead with the cracker, which takes ethane, a
component of natural gas, and turns it into ethylene, used in
the manufacture of plastic products.

Mar 6, 2015

Low oil a plus, but no panacea for African companies

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A lower oil price should give companies operating in Africa a lift but industry is not banking on it as a long-term elixir.

“In time a lower oil price will probably help the economy in Africa, because it is a key input cost … But that is not the panacea,” Nick Holland, chief executive of bullion producer Gold Fields (GFIJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit.

Mar 5, 2015

South Africa’s Eskom may sell assets to raise cash:CEO

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s cash-strapped power utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL] may sell some of its assets to raise capital as it scrambles to light up Africa’s most advanced economy, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Eskom, which provides virtually all of South Africa’s power, faces a funding crunch as it races to bring new power plants online to stave off an electricity crisis.

    • 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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