Zuma Must Fall culprit facing jail or hefty fine

The City of Cape Town said yesterday that it had referred the case to the National Prosecuting Authority because the posting of the banner had contravened two by-laws.

“An individual will be charged for contravening the outdoor advertising by-law and the national building by-law,” said city spokesman Priya Reddy.

Green Up or Burn Out

dubaiCity dwellers are bearing the brunt of extreme temperatures. Thanks to a phenomenon that makes urban areas hotter than their surroundings, cities such as Pretoria are as much as 6°C hotter than they could be.

Layered on top of the hottest months ever recorded, this means cities are killing their inhabitants.

The heat comes from decades of poor planning. Since the 1950s, the global focus of city infrastructure planning has been on cars, and on getting as many people as possible into tall buildings. In South Africa’s six big cities, this means tarmac crisscrossing what used to be fields and bushveld, big cement slabs providing parking for the cars they bring in, and high-rise apartment and office blocks sucking in their occupants. This both creates and traps heat, which leads to an urban heat island. This effect is worse at night, with cities storing heat – like an oven.

Consequently, during the summer of 2015-2016 temperature records have tumbled in these cities, with the midday heat going into the high 30s and low 40s. read more…

Zuma Must Fall Banners Positive?

STzumafall-16-01-2016-16-01-03-346-Never in his wildest dreams did the owner of the company that put up the “Zuma must fall” banner in Cape Town think it would lead to a violent fracas.

Speaking to building resident Sizwe Mogale in a telephone conversation which was later posted on SoundCloud on Sunday, Brent Dyssell, the managing director of Independent Outdoor Media, said the banner would not have been allowed otherwise.

In the 34-minute conversation with Mogale, who had blasted the company on social media after the video was put up, Dyssell said the banner was sponsored by a concerned private initiative and was meant to stimulate debate.
Read more…

SA Consumer Inflation Rises

PercentageSouth Africa’s headline consumer inflation rose to 5.2 percent year-on-year in December, compared with 4.8 percent in November in line with expectations, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

On a month-on-month basis, prices rose 0.3 percent compared with an increase of 0.1 percent in the previous month. read more….

PetroSA selling 49% offshore

66A4601E-constructionCash-strapped national oil and gas company, PetroSA, is looking to sell up to 49 percent equity stakes in around 10 offshore blocks, a document showed on Tuesday.

Among the stakes on offer was between 10 and 20 percent of PetroSA’s current equity holding of 40 percent in Block 1 on the West Coast. Cairn India holds the remaining 60 percent interest.

“PetroSA intends to farm out its equity interests in various blocks in South Africa to a technically and financially robust partner(s),” it said at an African oil and gas conference in Cape Town. read more…

Rand Slips as Fed hint at Rate hike

rand+dollar+xgold+2014The rand retreated on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signalled it may lift interest rates at its next policy meeting, reigniting fears that the move would trigger capital outflows from emerging markets.

At 0645 the rand slipped 0.11 percent to 13.7300 per dollar, having fallen as far 13.8025 as most emerging currencies fell on revived bets of a U.S. rate hike by year end.

Yields on government bonds rose, with the benchmark paper due in 2026 adding 8.5 basis points to 8.395 percent after rallying to a one-week low in the previous session.

On the local bourse, the benchmark JSE Top-40 index opened a touch lower, led by gold mining companies as bets on possible U.S. rate hike weighed on the price of the yellow metal.  Read more…

MTN fined $5.2 bln in Nigeria over phone registrations

MTN_FibreOpticNetworkMTN confirmed on Monday it was fined $5.2 billion by the Nigerian regulator for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered and incomplete SIM cards at its division in South Africa.

Shares in MTN were down more than 10 percent after the fine was announced. They were down 14.25 percent at 166.99 rand by 1428 GMT.

Africa’s largest mobile operator said in a statement that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed the fine on MTN Nigeria and said it related to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers in August and September.

“MTN Nigeria is currently in discussions with the NCC to resolve the matter in recognition of the circumstances that prevailed with regard to these subscribers,” the company said. Read more…

NZ Dairy Bust Highlights China Research

cowAs Chinese grew wealthier while their economy raced ahead, dairy farmers more than 9 600km away in verdant New Zealand felt like they’d won the lottery.

They were getting record prices for their milk and it seemed there was no slaking China’s thirst for premium New Zealand infant formula, especially after a tainted milk powder scandal made Chinese shoppers wary of local brands.

Now, it’s as if farmers have discovered the lottery ticket wasn’t valid. A world milk glut and a decline in Chinese demand for imported dairy products have sent prices down by 50 percent. Many farmers are borrowing to stay afloat and rural suicides have increased. Read more…

Vaal Fire Destroys Property

Fire_PLack of resources and a boundary issue may be among the reasons why a fire managed to cause R100-million worth of damage on several plots next to the Vaal River on Sunday.

The fire broke out when a gas bottle allegedly exploded and it quickly spread to about 24 houses.

But the Metsimaholo fire department was hard pressed to battle the flames, seeing that they only have one working fire truck from Boksburg.

It looks like a bomb exploded in the middle of the holiday resort.

Charred trees, mangled parts of boats, vehicles and even jet skis are seen smouldering in the ashes of what once were R4 million luxury homes. Read more….