Stella's Feed
Jul 1, 2014

South Africa engineering strike latest blow to sickly economy

JOHANNESBURG, July 1 (Reuters) – A strike by more than
220,000 South African engineering workers, hot on the heels of a
crippling platinum boycott which ended last week, will deal a
fresh blow to an economy that contracted in the first quarter.

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South
Africa (NUMSA), the country’s largest union, were downing tools
on Tuesday and gearing up for protest marches after last-gasp
talks failed to yield a deal on wages and other issues.

May 27, 2014

Protracted platinum strike pushes South Africa towards recession

PRETORIA, May 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s economy shrank
in the first quarter of this year, the first quarterly
contraction since a recession five years ago, as mining output
plummeted due to a protracted strike in the platinum sector.

The economic decline presents a challenge for new Finance
Minister Nhlanhla Nene, appointed this week to steer an economy
that has struggled to grow by more than 2 percent annually or
generate many new jobs since the 2009 recession.

May 14, 2014

Enduring memories of racial injustice keep South Africa’s ANC on top

BEKKERSDAL, South Africa (Reuters) – As he stood in the voting booth last week, South African pensioner Mokayile Maraba agonized long and hard over whether to vote for the ruling African National Congress (ANC), a party he has supported all his life.

Twenty years after the end of apartheid, the retired civil servant still lives in a run-down tin-shack township that lacks electricity or decent sewers, despite the ANC’s promise to build a ‘better life for all’.

May 9, 2014

Falling from continental perch is a wake-up call for South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Slipping from its perch as the continent’s biggest economy could well be the jolt South Africa’s new government needs to seriously tackle the restrictive labor laws, power shortages and other obstacles that have been crimping direct investment.

President Jacob Zuma’s government is putting a brave face on Nigeria taking over the top spot, and can take consolation from far superior infrastructure and liquid financial markets that rake in billions of dollars in portfolio flows.

Apr 25, 2014

South Africa’s inequalities strain foundations of ‘Rainbow Nation’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African writer Hagen Engler is candid about the inner racist he had to exorcise during his progression from a carefree youth who reaped the benefits of white minority rule to a man who has lived for 20 years under a black government.

The present-day Engler, his black wife and their mixed race child could easily be the poster family for the “Rainbow Nation” Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu dreamt of in 1994 when South Africa emerged from the ashes of apartheid as a new democracy.

Apr 25, 2014

South Africa’s inequalities strain foundations of “Rainbow Nation”

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African writer Hagen Engler is candid about the inner racist he had to exorcise during his progression from a carefree youth who reaped the benefits of white minority rule to a man who has lived for 20 years under a black government.

The present-day Engler, his black wife and their mixed race child could easily be the poster family for the “Rainbow Nation” Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu dreamt of in 1994 when South Africa emerged from the ashes of apartheid as a new democracy.

Apr 11, 2014

Prosecutor to Pistorius: Did Reeva scream when you shot her?

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Oscar Pistorius’ three-day cross-examination reached a dramatic climax on Friday when a prosecutor challenged the double-amputee sprinter repeatedly as to why his girlfriend failed to scream when she was shot four times through a toilet door.

In an electric exchange in the Pretoria High Court, Gerrie Nel, one of South Africa’s top attorneys, said it was beyond belief that 29-year-old law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp would have remained silent in the tiny cubicle with an armed Pistorius shouting and screaming in the adjoining bathroom.

Mar 27, 2014

South Africa’s central bank warns rate hikes imminent as repo stays steady for now

JOHANNESBURG, March 27 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Reserve
Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday to give the
ailing economy some relief, but hinted strongly at increases
soon to rein in inflation.

The bank had unexpectedly raised its benchmark repo rate for
the first time in nearly six years at its last meeting in
January, to fight inflation pressures stemming from a sharp fall
in the rand during a rout of emerging market currencies.

Feb 14, 2014

Athletics-Pistorius talks of sorrow a year after Steenkamp shooting

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 14 (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius on Friday broke his months-long silence about the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, calling her death at his hands a year ago a “devastating accident”.

Pistorius, who goes on trial on March 3, says he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder at his high-security home last Valentine’s Day. State lawyers say he killed her in cold blood.

Feb 14, 2014

Pistorius talks of sorrow a year after Steenkamp shooting

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius on Friday broke his months-long silence about the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, calling her death at his hands a year ago a “devastating accident”.

Pistorius, who goes on trial on March 3, says he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder at his high-security home last Valentine’s Day. State lawyers say he killed her in cold blood.