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Gordhan praises Ramaphosa, backs State capture inquiry

By: News24Wire      28th April 2017 Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday told CNN that a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture would “clear the air”. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently called for the same thing, supporting a recommendation by former public protector Thuli Madonsela... 

Anti-Zuma campaigners should rather pressure ruling party to eject him 

By: Aubrey Matshiqi     28th April 2017 To defeat former President Thabo Mbeki, the coalition that supported the then deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma, did two things. Firstly, they decided to step outside the disciplinary framework of the ANC and created structures outside the ruling party in support... 

South Africa launches public debate on possible wealth tax 

By: Reuters     26th April 2017 A committee set up to review South Africa's tax system on Tuesday launched a public debate on one of the most controversial possible moves on its agenda – a wealth tax. The Davis Tax Committee (DTC) announced it was inviting submissions from South Africans on whether the government should... 

Ramaphosa backs graft probe of Zuma's government

By: Reuters     24th April 2017 South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he wants allegations of influence-peddling in government investigated, lending his support to a probe called for by the anti-graft watchdog but which President Jacob Zuma has so far ignored. Ramaphosa is considered a likely candidate... 

Naamsa suspends new-vehicle sales projections amid political flux

By: Irma Venter     21st April 2017 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) will, for the time being, suspend all new-vehicle sales projections, in light of recent political events. President Jacob Zuma at the end of March fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, as well as his deputy, Mcebisi... 

Political decisions, downgrades push policy uncertainty into negative territory 

By: Anine Kilian     20th April 2017 The North-West University (NWU) School of Business and Governance’s Policy Uncertainty Index (PUI) increased to 51 in the first quarter of this year, putting it in negative territory. The PUI was at 38.8 in the fourth quarter of 2016. An increase to above 50 reflects heightened policy... 

South Africa could suffer further downgrades if political uncertainty stalls growth – S&P's

By: Reuters     20th April 2017 South Africa's credit rating could get downgraded deeper into junk status if political uncertainty triggered by the recent firing of the finance minister stalls reforms needed to grow the economy, an executive from S&P Global Ratings said on Wednesday. "There are risks that potential growth... 

Recent political shifts in South Africa could impact on continent’s M&A activity – Baker McKenzie index

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th April 2017 Political turbulence and economic uncertainty are becoming the new normal for deal makers; however, the impact on global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity has not been as steep as many expected, multinational law firm Baker McKenzie's Cross-Border M&A Index has shown. It noted that while... 

Will the South African economy catch a crab?

By: Riaan de Lange     14th April 2017 It is mid-afternoon on Sunday, April 2. I am enjoying glorious weather, reminiscent of South Africa, with soaring temperatures, which is not the usual rainy, gloomy and cold London. I find myself in Putney, where the River Thymes is aligned by an estimated 300 000 people who have made their way... 

Trade expectations hit low point in March and will decline further, warns Sacci

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) seasonally adjusted six-month trade expectations index (TEI) declined from 61 in February to 51 in March – the weakest level since April 2016. The non-seasonally adjusted TEI weakened even more markedly and declined from 63 to 51... 

SARB says downgrades, weakening rand pose risk

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 South Africa's central bank on Monday warned that the recent Cabinet reshuffle that saw the finance minister fired and the country's credit relegated to "junk" could pressure the rand and accelerate inflation as inventors sold off local assets. The rand has slipped nearly 12% since March 27 when... 

Downgrade will have major consequences for economy, businesses and citizens, warns AHI

By: Anine Kilian     10th April 2017 Small business representative organisation AHI says ratings agency Fitch’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s credit rating to junk status, will lead to lower economic growth, with some expecting billions of rands in outflows and a doubling of the current account deficit for South Africa. In... 

Peters irrational when she removed PRASA board – court

By: News24Wire      10th April 2017 Former Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters acted irrationally in removing PRASA's board, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Monday. Judge Peter Mabuse said in a scathing judgment that her decision was unreasonable and disproportionate and he set it aside. 

JSE to review trades around Gordhan's recall – Business Day

By: Reuters     10th April 2017 South Africa's bourse will investigate an increase in the trading of certain securities in the hours before former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was recalled from an international investor roadshow, Business Day newspaper reported on Monday. On March 27, news broke that President Jacob Zuma had... 

Pushing ahead with nuclear deal will guarantee SA junk status, says DA 

By: African News Agency      10th April 2017 It is an undeniable fact that South Africa cannot afford, and does not need, government’s planned nuclear energy deal, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday. Media reports on Sunday that the nuclear deal was going full-steam ahead were extremely concerning and would essentially guarantee... 

Fitch downgrade – Treasury acknowledges ‘setback’

By: African News Agency      7th April 2017 Fitch Ratings agency on Friday downgraded South Africa to junk status, citing the removal of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. Fitch said President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire Gordhan last week, was likely to see a change in economic policy. 

Moyane lent tacit approval to the Rogue unit storyline - former spokesperson

By: News24Wire      7th April 2017 Denying that the alleged Rogue Unit existed was not the message Sars management wanted to convey to the public. Former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said during cross examination on Thursday that this was the message given by managers at Sars during a GCIS meeting held in December 2014. 

Fitch may be next to slap South Africa with junk rating

By: Reuters     6th April 2017 Ratings agency Fitch is likely to follow rival Standard & Poor's and cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating to below investment-grade, analysts said, an outcome that would underscore worries about political uncertainty and prompt a further selloff in assets. S&P Global Ratings cut South... 

Mcebisi Jonas resigns as MP

By: News24Wire      6th April 2017 Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has resigned from Parliament. "The Office of the ANC [African National Congress] Chief Whip confirms the resignation of former Deputy Finance Minister and ANC MP Cde Mcebisi Jonas as a member of parliament effective 31 March 2017," ANC chief whip media... 

Business confidence falls, outlook gloomy

By: Reuters     5th April 2017 Business confidence in South Africa fell in March from February and was likely to decline further due to the rising political tension, a survey showed on Wednesday. President Jacob Zuma's decision last week to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has rattled markets and led S&P Global Ratings to... 

South Africa’s institutions need to be protected, strengthened – Jonas  

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th April 2017 South Africa’s institutions have either been forsaken or deliberately weakened for political expedience, with State transformation becoming so politicised that economics is almost just about political power, former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said on Wednesday. Speaking a week after... 

Fuzile confirms his 'imminent departure' from Treasury

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th April 2017 Highly respected National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile has confirmed his imminent departure from the department. Fuzile’s contract was due to end in May 2018. However, prior to the axing of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on March 31, the director-general requested a... 

‘Break down in relationship’ between Zuma, Gordhan led to axing

By: African News Agency      5th April 2017 President Jacob Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan because their relationship had irretrievably broken down, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Wednesday. ANC secretary Gwede Mantashe said the ANC national working committee (NWC) accepted Zuma’s reason of the breakdown in... 

Zuma told top ANC officials of plan to sack Gordhan in December

By: Reuters     5th April 2017 President Jacob Zuma had briefed top officials at the African National Congress (ANC) in December of his decision to dismiss former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, but the leaders persuaded him to delay the sacking, a top ANC official said. Speaking at a media briefing after two days of meetings... 

ANC stands by Zuma, rejects calls for President to quit

By: Reuters     5th April 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) "closed ranks" around President Jacob Zuma after two key allies of the ruling party called for his resignation following a cabinet reshuffle that cost the country one of its investment-grade credit ratings. The rand fell more than 1 percent and bonds weakened... 

South Africa's private-sector activity keeps growing in March – PMI

By: Reuters     5th April 2017 Activity in South Africa's private sector expanded for a seventh straight month in March as output and new orders rose, leading companies to increase inventories, a survey showed on Wednesday. The Standard Bank Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, edged up to 50.7 from 50.5 from... 

‘No firm decisions’ on nuclear, Gigaba insists as he seeks to soothe post-junk anxieties

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated South Africa’s stance that the proposed nuclear programme be implemented only at a “pace and scale” that is affordable and denied that any “firm decisions” had been made on the issue, besides Cabinet’s endorsement of a plan to add 9 600 MW of new... 

Downgrade a setback but no need for worry – Gigaba 

By: African News Agency      4th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday said the decision by S&P Global to cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status was a setback but there was no need for despondency regarding the matter. “We acknowledge that yesterday’s announcement was a setback. Despite our current... 

Treasury director-general says has not resigned

By: Reuters     4th April 2017 South Africa's Director General of the Treasury Lungisa Fuzile said "I am still here" when he was asked on Tuesday whether he had resigned following the dismissal of the finance minister and his deputy in cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma. Fuzile was part of an investor roadshow abroad... 

SA downgrade communicated last week – Gigaba

By: African News Agency      4th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday said he was informed of Standard and Poor (S&P) Global’s decision to cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk status last week, on his first day as finance minister. “When I spoke on Saturday, I indicated that I had spoken to Moody’s and Fitch,... 

Business warns of ‘negative spiral’ after reshuffle-induced downgrade

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2017 Business has warned of a possible “negative spiral” for the country’s economy as a result of President Jacob Zuma’s “ill-considered” March 31 Cabinet reshuffle, which led S&P Global Ratings to downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to the subinvestment-grade status of BB+, with a... 

CoM calls for ANC, citizens to bring Zuma to account after an ‘illogical and damaging’ decision

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     4th April 2017 The African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa’s citizens should hold President Jacob Zuma to account for the “illogical and damaging” Cabinet reshuffle which led to the country’s credit rating being downgraded to junk status by Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s), the Chamber of Mines said on... 

Calls for Zuma’s head increase after S&P downgrades South Africa to junk status

By: African News Agency      4th April 2017 Pressure mounted on President Jacob Zuma to resign on Monday night as political parties laid South Africa’s downgrade to junk status by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) squarely at his feet. The country’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), described the downgrade as a vote of no... 

Absa PMI dips slightly to 52.2 in March

By: Anine Kilian     3rd April 2017 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) managed to hold on to recent gains in March, despite dipping slightly lower to 52.2 from 52.5 in February, thereby remaining above the neutral 50-point mark for a third straight month. This was supported by all five major subcomponents... 

Cabinet reshuffle could have ‘far-reaching consequences’, warns auto body

By: Irma Venter     3rd April 2017 The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) will, for the time being, suspend all new-vehicle sales projections, in light of recent political events. President Jacob Zuma last week fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, as well as his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, as... 

Handover meeting between Gordhan and Gigaba postponed

By: African News Agency      3rd April 2017 National Treasury on Monday announced that the handover meeting between outgoing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and incoming Minister Malusi Gigaba had been postponed. In a terse statement on Twitter, Treasury said the meeting was postponed to allow the South African Revenue Services (Sars) to... 

Treasury shoots down nuclear deal allegations

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2017 National Treasury on Sunday set the record straight on news that was circulating on social media of a nuclear deal allegedly signed by incoming Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. African National Congress (ANC) member Sibusisiwe Mngadi had alleged on Facebook earlier on Sunday that “the nuclear deal... 

I’m unashamedly encouraging mass mobilisation, says Gordhan

By: African News Agency      1st April 2017 A defiant former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Saturday encouraged mass mobilisation in the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s much maligned Cabinet reshuffle that saw him and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas fired along with several other ministers. Speaking at a memorial service in Johannesburg for... 

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