JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday he was confident the Soccer World Cup will boost job creation and economic growth in the country.
“The event itself has created such an opportunity that our economy is not going to be of the same size after the 2010 World Cup. Certainly, therefore, GDP will grow from where it has been,” Zuma said in an interview with Reuters Insider television.
JOHANNESBURG, June 22 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday he was confident the Soccer World Cup
will boost job creation and economic growth in the country.
“The event itself has created such an opportunity that our
economy is not going to be of the same size after the 2010 World
Cup. Certainly, therefore, GDP will grow from where it has
been,” Zuma said in an interview with Reuters Insider
“We are confident that the employment numbers will grow.”
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Shares in MTN Group (MTNJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research), Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, rose over four percent on Thursday after the collapse of talks with Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (ORTE.CA: Quote, Profile, Research) about a potential acquisition.
MTN and Orascom Telecom said in separate statements on Wednesday that talks had been called off, sinking a deal that could have created the world’s third-largest mobile operator.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa has spent tens of billions on hosting the World Cup, hoping to draw more tourists, boost investment and reverse the country’s crime-ridden image abroad.
But the real benefits of holding the world’s biggest single sporting event on the African continent for the first time will only be seen in years to come, analysts said.
JOHANNESBURG, June 8 (Reuters) – South Africa has spent tens
of billions on hosting the World Cup, hoping to draw more
tourists, boost investment and reverse the country’s
crime-ridden image abroad.
But the real benefits of holding the world’s biggest single
sporting event on the African continent for the first time will
only be seen in years to come, analysts said.
JOHANNESBURG, June 3 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Life
Healthcare cut the price range for its initial public offering
(IPO) to attract more investors after recent market weakness,
marking a shaky start to what will be one the country’s biggest
The company, which runs private hospitals across South
Africa, said on Thursday it had cut its IPO price range to 13.50
to 14.50 rand ($1.77-$1.90) from an initial 14.50 to 17.00 rand
range given on May 18.
JOHANNESBURG, May 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s government must do more to protect African migrants from persistent xenophobic violence, Amnesty International said on Thursday as the nation prepares to host the soccer World Cup.
The human rights group said it had documented more attacks against African migrants, two years after a wave of anti-foreigner violence left 62 people dead and nearly 100,000 displaced.
"There’s still documented, on a regular basis, violence among communities often targeted against foreigners," Erwin van der Borght, Africa programme director at Amnesty International, told Talk Radio 702.
"(The attacks are) often related to protests against lack of basic services and competing against scarce resource and (these) result in loss of life and destruction of property," he added.
Liberal immigration and refugee policies make South Africa an attractive destination for Africans lured by work in mines, farms and homes.
Earlier this month, the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa), a group of human rights and migrant organisations including Amnesty International, said African migrants feared a flare-up of xenophobic violence after the month-long World Cup, which starts on June 11.
Amnesty said President Jacob Zuma’s government had to ensure security forces could protect other Africans living in South Africa.
"We’re also, with the upcoming World Cup, appealing to the South African government to not only obviously protect the situation around the World Cup but also make sure there are resources available to continue to be able to provide protection and security for people living in these communities," Van Der Borght said.
Another outbreak of unrest could harm investor sentiment and embarrass Zuma’s government, after the country became the first in Africa to host the World Cup.
There are no precise figures on the total number of African immigrants in South Africa. The South African Institute of Race Relations estimates the figure at five million — equivalent to the country’s white population.
About three million Zimbabweans alone have fled economic collapse in that country to South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, in the past decade.
The influx of other Africans have led to competition for jobs, housing and resources.
A quarter of the South African workforce is unemployed and 16 years after apartheid ended, millions of poor blacks are yet to receive housing, water, electricity and the improved education they had expected would come with a black government.
This has led to violent countrywide protests in shack settlements and poor townships where residents are furious at the government’s inability to deliver basic services.
In 2008, the attacks were brought under control through massive intervention by the police and military. (Additional reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa and Peroshni Govender; Editing by Michael Taylor and Mark Heinrich)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African transport workers, on strike for a third week, have threatened to call for sympathy walkouts at the national airline and elsewhere less than three weeks before the soccer World Cup kicks off.
The strike at rail and logistics group Transnet has curtailed exports of metals, cars, wine and fruit to Asia and Europe. The government said farmers had lost over $127 million due to the strike, putting jobs in the agriculture sector at risk.. Even football body FIFA said imports of some equipment for the World Cup had been affected.
JOHANNESBURG, May 25 (Reuters) – South African transport
workers, on strike for a third week, have threatened to call for
sympathy walkouts at the national airline and elsewhere less
than three weeks before the soccer World Cup kicks off.
The strike at rail and logistics group Transnet [TRAN.UL]
has curtailed exports of metals, cars, wine and fruit to Asia
and Europe. The government said farmers had lost over $127
million due to the strike, putting jobs in the agriculture
sector at risk. [ID:nLDE64O15L]. Even football body FIFA said
imports of some equipment for the World Cup had been affected.
HARARE, May 4 (Reuters) – The hordes of black-market currency traders in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare have gone out of business.
Just over a year ago, Zimbabwe had the world’s worst modern-day hyperinflation and the national currency was worthless.
Streets in central Harare were lined with black-market traders exchanging huge wads of Zimbabwean dollars for U.S. dollars or South Africa rand.
One trader, who did so well illegally dealing in foreign exchange he could afford to take a second wife, has taken up his old job as a taxi driver.
"Life has become so difficult and there is no meaningful business to sustain my life. In the past, no matter how difficult it was, you could always get some money, but not now. Raising a dollar has become hard labour," said Derick Chiwapura who traded foreign exchange at a Harare shopping mall.
Today, shops in the capital are fully stocked with goods which anyone can buy as long as they pay in U.S. dollars. Zimbabwe’s government allowed the use of multiple currencies in early 2009, effectively making the dollar the official currency.
Harare’s streets are markedly cleaner than they were six months ago, grocery shops have sprung up all over the capital — offering goods at prices comparable to neighbouring South Africa — and there are more new vehicles on the roads.
But much-needed investment from abroad remains absent and the country’s stock exchange has seen foreign investors retreat after the introduction of regulations calling for foreign-owned companies to transfer a majority stake to Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe moved to implement the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act that requires foreign firms to sell a 51 percent stake to local blacks at the end of January.
"The foreigners are sniffing around. You can see that from the full hotels but nothing will happen until the economy picks up," said one banker in Harare.
Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government, set up by President Robert Mugabe and his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now the country’s prime minister, has estimated around $10 billion is needed to repair the economy.
Foreign investors are also reluctant to pledge funds without faster political reform. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai’s MDC continue to bicker over the pace of reforms and appointments of senior state officials.
One area where change is yet to happen is the country’s state media. State-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation recently ran Mugabe’s speech on the occasion of the country’s 30th independence anniversary as the main news item — for four days in a row.
And every reference to him on state television is prefixed with: "His Excellency, The President, Head of Government and Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Force".
Bankers and the country’s stock exchange say the economy can only recover if there is significant foreign investment but the controversial empowerment regulations have spooked investors.
"We are hearing that the regulations are going to be reviewed but the unfortunate thing is, investors don’t wait for you. They will go elsewhere," said Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Munyukwi.
At the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis in 2008, the ZSE experienced a boom as many Zimbabweans saw the exchange as their only hedge against runaway inflation.
Munyukwi said this was a nightmare for the exchange.
"When you start seeing vendors in the street playing the stock market, you know something is wrong. We were seeing guys selling bananas in the stock market foyer checking stock prices".
For many Zimbabweans, not much has changed in the past year.
Unemployment remains above 80 percent, state employees are paid no more than $150 a month and electricity cuts occur daily.
"Don’t worry gentlemen, we will start the generator and set you up quickly," a Harare restaurant owner told a group of customers who arrived during a power cut. (Additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Giles Elgood)