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Politics to blame as SA hurtles towards downgrade

By: Aubrey Matshiqi     23rd September 2016 South Africa is inching closer and closer towards a downgrade to subinvestment grade. To blame, of course, is the increasingly fractious politics of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). If former US President Bill Clinton had been South African, he would have said: “It’s politics, stupid!”... 

BLSA outlines three urgent interventions for restoring confidence

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2016 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), which is an association of the biggest domestic and multinational businesses in the country, urged government on Thursday to take three urgent steps to demonstrate its commitment to delivering on its promise to support the economy and restore investor... 

South Africans must focus on positive impacts of political turmoil – Malala

By: Anine Kilian     22nd September 2016 While it is easy for South Africans to maintain a negative outlook about the volatile challenges South African society faces, political analyst Justice Malala feels that it is important to look at the positive impacts that arise from these situations. Addressing an audience at the eighth... 

Treasury postpones implementation of tyre levy to Feb 2017

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd September 2016 The National Treasury has postponed the implementation of the environmental tyre levy to February 1. The levy had been due for implementation on October 1. 

DBSA aims to ‘catalyse’ funding to poor munis as it sets R100bn funding goal

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2016 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) disbursed a record R17.1-billion during its 2016 financial year, up from R13-billion in 2015, with disbursements to the country’s eight metropolitan councils (metros) surging to R7.5-billion from R3.7-billion. CEO Patrick Dlamini said a total of... 

South African rating cut a serious risk, De Beers CEO says

By: Bloomberg     22nd September 2016 South Africa is in deep danger of losing its investment-grade credit rating and needs to reassure investors of its commitment to regulatory certainty and fiscal stability, said Bruce Cleaver, the chief executive officer of De Beers, the world’s largest  diamond producer. “South Africa is in a... 

SAA’s losses for 2014/15 almost R1bn more than R4.7bn guarantee

By: News24Wire      20th September 2016 SAA’s losses for the 2014/15 financial year was R5.6-billion – close to R1-billion more than the expected amount of R4.7-billion. This emerged when the national carrier presented its 2014 to 2015 interim financial statements to parliament’s standing committee on finance on Tuesday. 

Froneman says Zuma must quit

By: Bloomberg     20th September 2016 South African President Jacob Zuma “has to go,” with poor governance deterring prospective investors, according to the head of Sibanye Gold, the biggest producer of bullion in the country. “Any solid investor, any solid company is founded on good governance and what we have in South Africa at the... 

Myeni to be grilled at parly finance meeting

By: African News Agency      19th September 2016 The Democratic Alliance will attempt to get to the bottom of the myriad issues plaguing South African Airways (SAA) at the scheduled appearance of the SAA board and executive before Parliament’s finance standing committee on Tuesday. The 2014/15 SAA annual financial statements tabled late on... 

Corruption watchdog interviews finance ministers in Zuma, Gupta inquiry – paper

By: Reuters     19th September 2016 South Africa's anticorruption watchdog has interviewed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas as part of an investigation into whether President Jacob Zuma was influenced by the wealthy Gupta family in making government appointments, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. The... 

New revelations in South African nuclear deal

By: News24Wire      16th September 2016 The department of energy was tight-lipped on Friday over the awarding of a tender for the controversial nuclear build programme to the son of a close friend of President Jacob Zuma. When approached for comment, departmental spokesperson Thandiwe Maimane said by email: "For now the department of... 

Zuma, Gordhan appear together to ease infighting talk

By: Reuters     16th September 2016 South African President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan sat side-by-side on Friday in a show of scripted solidarity following weeks of speculation that the pair are locked in a bitter power struggle. Zuma and Gordhan have been at odds over spending at state-owned companies, plans... 

Zuma, business leaders appeal for calm, positivity for economy’s sake

By: African News Agency      16th September 2016 The current stand-off between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) was not on the agenda and was not discussed when President Jacob Zuma held a high-level meeting with chief executive officers of major corporates in South Africa,... 

Petrol party turns sour with expected 51c price hike

By: News24Wire      15th September 2016 The recent period of fuel price reductions is set for a reversal as the weakening rand and stronger international petroleum prices combine to cause pain at the pumps. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the... 

Moody's may downgrade five South African State-owned firms

By: Reuters     15th September 2016 Moody's may cut the ratings of five South African State-owned firms, including utility Eskom, it said on Wednesday, citing funding risks after some local institutional investors said they had stopped lending to some parastatals. Asset manager Futuregrowth, which manages client assets of about... 

Gordhan confirms SAA losses as MPs demand Myeni’s head

By: African News Agency      14th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday confirmed that South African Airways (SAA) suffered losses of R4.7-billion in 2014/2015 and a further R1.8-billion in the past financial year. Gordhan did so when he closed a bitter debate in the National Assembly on SAA that was dominated by demands... 

Ngoepe’s term as Tax Ombud extended

By: Anine Kilian     13th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has extended the term of office of the Tax Ombud Judge Bernard Makgabo Ngoepe for a period of three years, starting on October 1. The Tax Ombud plays a critical role in South Africa’s tax system and, in particular, in ensuring fairness and procedural correctness.   

Resilient South African economy can still avoid downgrade – Gordhan

By: News24Wire      13th September 2016 Although growth my be challenging going forward, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said that growth will be above 0%. Gordhan was speaking at the Investment Summit, in collaboration with Sasfin Wealth, and publications Business Day and Financial Mail, in Sandton on Tuesday. 

South Africa not in 'recession territory' – Gordhan

By: Reuters     13th September 2016 South Africa's economy is not in "recession territory" and there is a more than 50% chance ratings agencies will not downgrade it to "junk" status this year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday. Treasury also plans to stick to its deficit and debt targets set-out in a budget delivered... 

South African economy destabilised by Gordhan row – Jonas

By: Reuters     13th September 2016 A police investigation into South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is destabilising the government and creating uncertainty across Africa's most industrialised economy, deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said on Tuesday. Gordhan declined last month to obey a police summons linked to the... 

Gordhan approves 'going concern' guarantee for national airline

By: Reuters     12th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has conditionally approved an application from the cash-strapped national airline for a guarantee as a going concern, the ministry said on Friday. South African Airways (SAA) has been surviving on state-guaranteed loans and has failed to submit financial statements... 

Gordhan met Gupta-owned Oakbay on banks 4 months ago 

By: News24Wire      9th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan admitted meeting with Oakbay Investments in May this year. In a parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA's) David Maynier, Gordhan said he had met with Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakbay Investments on 24 May. He was accompanied by National Treasury... 

Ramaphosa warns State ‘at war with itself’ undermines stability 

By: Terence Creamer     9th September 2016 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed on Friday that government was deeply aware of the “disquiet” within society about the current divisions within government, which had created an impression of a State “at war against itself”. Addressing the twenty-first summit of the National Economic... 

Gordhan makes no bones about SAA 

By: News24Wire      8th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made no bones about South African Airways (SAA) during an interview by political analyst Justice Malala at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town on Thursday. To this Gordhan replied that some kind of continuity had to be created. 

Treasury studying Eskom's report on Tegeta

By: News24Wire      8th September 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he didn’t know why it took Eskom a while to respond to National Treasury’s request for a report relating to contracts with Tegeta for coal. He and other ministers of the economic cluster were responding to oral questions on their departments in parliament on... 

Gordhan says recession unlikely in 2016

By: Reuters     7th September 2016 South Africa's economy is unlikely to fall into recession in 2016 although the right level of investment must be nurtured among investors to support growth, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday. Answering questions in parliament in Cape Town, Gordhan also said the government would be... 

Q3 business confidence improves but political uncertainty a risk

By: Reuters     7th September 2016 South Africa's business confidence rose in the third quarter, ending seven straight quarterly declines, a survey showed on Wednesday, but could fall again over the uncertainty facing the finance minister. Police are investigating Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over the activities of a... 

KwaZulu-Natal Growth Coalition bemoans political, economic uncertainty

By: Shirley le Guern     7th September 2016 Government needs to provide strong leadership, political and economic certainty and a return to the values of post-1994 South Africa if it is to partner with business to unlock growth opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal. This was the strong message from businessperson and KwaZulu-Natal Growth... 

New SAA board shows Cabinet taking responsibility – Mkhize 

By: News24Wire      7th September 2016 The appointment of a new South African Airways (SAA) board is a step forward, says Zweli Mkhize, ANC treasurer general. Mkhize was addressing media and business leaders at the Sanlam offices in Sandton, on Tuesday night. Mkhize shared his thoughts on the economic outlook for the country and the... 

South Africa's rand rallies ahead of expected GDP boost

By: Reuters     6th September 2016 South Africa's rand strengthened early on Tuesday, extending gains to a fourth consecutive session in thin trade after a holiday in the United States and ahead of local GDP data expected to show the economy avoided recession. * Rand 0.6% firmer at 14.2950 per dollar at 0650 GMT versus overnight... 

Vitol said to mull Guptas’ stake in South African coal terminal

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2016 Swiss commodities trader Vitol Group is interested in buying a stake in South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal from a company controlled by the Gupta family, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Buying the stake in Africa’s biggest coal export facility from Optimum Coal Holdings... 

Myeni reappointed SAA chairperson

By: African News Agency      2nd September 2016 Contentious South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni has been reappointed to the post, a Cabinet statement released on Friday said. Former SAA CFO Tryphosa Ramano will serve as deputy chairperson. 

South African parastatals credible, reliable borrowers, says Brown

By: African News Agency      2nd September 2016 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Thursday moved to assure investors that South Africa’s parastatals were on solid footing as she responded to news that a second money manager would suspend lending to the country’s state-owned companies. “I want to assure all lenders and investors that... 

Zuma, Gordhan to lead SA delegation at G20 Summit

By: News24Wire      1st September 2016 While South Africans are still reeling from recent public spats surrounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Treasury, he will be joining President Jacob Zuma at a G20 meeting in China next week. Public spats between Gordhan and the Hawks, Eskom and Denel, along with rumours of a stand-off... 

South Africa to reappoint Zuma ally as chair of State airline – source

By: Reuters     1st September 2016 South Africa is set to reappoint the chairwoman of its loss-making national airline, an ally of President Jacob Zuma, despite objections from some Treasury officials, a Finance Ministry source said on Thursday. South African Airways (SAA) has failed to submit financial statements for the past two... 

Suspension of loans is 'erroneous' – ANC

By: News24Wire      1st September 2016 It was an unfortunate mistake to suspend loans to State Owned Enterprises, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Thursday. This comes hours after Futuregrowth Asset Management announced it was suspending its loans due to possible “patronage network” and “conflicts” in government. 

South Africa's ANC: Futuregrowth's view on State firms 'erroneous'

By: Reuters     1st September 2016 South Africa's ruling party said on Thursday it was concerned by asset manager Futuregrowth's decision to halt lending to State-owned firms and it was "erroneous" to conclude that the companies were beset by corporate governance problems. Futuregrowth on Wednesday said it would no longer lend to... 

CEO confidence rises 18% q/q

By: Anine Kilian     1st September 2016 The Merchantec CEO Confidence Index recorded an 18% improvement in CEO confidence between the second and third quarters of 2016, continuing the upward trend in confidence since the first quarter. The index now lies at the neutral score line of 50, returning to the confidence levels seen in the... 

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