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Jan 30, 2015

S.Africa grants parole to ‘Prime Evil’ apartheid killer

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed ‘Prime Evil’ for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was granted parole on Friday after more than 20 years in prison.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha told a news conference de Kock would be released “in the interests of nation-building and reconciliation” and because he had expressed remorse at his crimes and helped authorities recover the remains of some of his victims.

Jan 22, 2015

S.Africa moves 100 rhinos outside country to fight poaching

PRETORIA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – South Africa said on Thursday
that it had moved around 100 rhinos to unspecified neighbouring
states as part of efforts to stem the illicit slaughter of the
animals for their horns.

Home to around 80 percent of the global rhino population,
South Africa is at the epicentre of a poaching crisis.
Government figures released on Thursday show the country lost a
record 1,215 rhinos last year, about a 20 percent increase on
the 2013 toll, with 49 slain so far this year.

Jan 14, 2015

Strikers at South Africa’s Northam mine want CEO removed

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Striking South African
miners at Northam Platinum want the company’s chief
executive Paul Dunne removed for what they say are unfair hiring
and firing practices, a spokesman for the National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday.

Livhuwani Mammburu also told Reuters that 5,200 workers were
involved in the strike at Northam’s Zondereinde mine in South
Africa’s northern Limpopo province. The wildcat strike began
with the night shift on Tuesday.

Jan 2, 2015

Record year of rhino slayings as Africa’s big animals targeted

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa lost a record number of rhinos in 2014 as big animals across Africa were relentlessly poached to meet rising demand for horn and ivory in newly affluent Asian countries or to provide meat to fighters in the bush.

From South Sudan, where conservationists say elephants are being slain by both government forces and rebels, to South Africa, where more than three rhinos are poached every day, there is an arc of illegal animal slaughter across the region.

Dec 19, 2014

Can Africa turn the “curse” of big animals into an economic blessing?

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 19 (Reuters) – For many outsiders,
Africa’s big animals are among the natural wonders of the world
and a major tourist draw.

For many Africans, elephants, rhinos and lions – or at least
the bloody trade in their body parts, and the proximity of big,
dangerous critters to their crops, cattle and kin – are part of
a wider “resource curse” that has long afflicted the continent.

Dec 15, 2014

BRICS countries lead global capital flight: report

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The BRICS grouping of emerging market nations is leading the flight of illicit capital from the developing world, according to data in a new report released this week.

In its annual estimate of illegal capital flows, Washington-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI) said it a record $991 billion was siphoned in 2012 from the world’s developing economies, an increase of almost 5 percent from 2011.

Nov 10, 2014

Platinum industry to promote investment demand for metal

LIMA/JOHANNESBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) – An industry body to
promote investment demand for platinum should be set for launch
late this year or early 2015 as South African producers try to
boost sales in the face of falling prices, industry and banking
sources said.

The new body, called the World Platinum Investment Council,
will most likely be based in London or Johannesburg, the sources

Nov 10, 2014

Strike-hit Lonmin cuts costs, raises hurdles to return to profit

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Platinum miner
Lonmin, dragged into the red this year by a bruising
five-month strike, said it would cut more than 2 billion rand
($179 million) of costs and set a higher hurdle for new projects
as it battles to return to profit.

Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, said
the savings would be achieved over three years, largely through
operational improvements and lower overheads. It has also set a
target return rate of at least 15 percent for new investments.

Nov 5, 2014

Harmony Gold considers South African job cuts as gold price slumps

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) – South African miner Harmony
Gold reported a further quarterly loss on Wednesday and
suggested it might have to cut jobs as it contends with a
depressed gold price and operational problems which include an
escalating battle with illegal miners.

Unveiling its results for the three months to end-September,
the company said losses narrowed by 78 percent to 226 million
rand ($21 million), as production rose by 6 percent to just over
303,000 ounces.

Oct 25, 2014

South Africans deploy owls to fight rat problem in townships

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A young barn owl looks bug-eyed in curiosity as a bird handler readies it for a new life – to be spent hunting the rats that plague South Africa’s poor and mostly black urban areas.

The Township Owl Project takes juvenile birds rescued from perilous situations, such as when a building where they nested in is demolished, and gives them a new home and a new job.

    • 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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