South Africa, home to almost all of the world’s rhinoceroses, said the number of the animals killed by poachers plunged by 25 percent last year as it stepped up efforts to save the endangered species.

With 769 rhinos poached, it was the first year since 2012 that less than 1,000 of the animals were killed illegally, the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement. The animals are targeted for their horns, which are believed in Asia to help cure cancer and boost male virility. The horns are made of keratin, a hair-like substance. The number of rhino deaths peaked at 1,215 in 2014.

The fight against rhino poaching in South Africa has become emblematic of the global struggle against wildlife traffickers, with national awareness campaigns ranging from documentaries to the sale of plastic horns, which are attached to people’s cars.

The decline in rhino deaths is “a confirmation of the commitment and dedication of the men and women working at the coalface to save the species,” said Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, who is also known as Mama Action.

More than half of the rhinos were killed in Kruger National Park, a reserve the size of Israel that lies on South Africa’s border with Mozambique. Poachers frequently cross the border and hunt the animals with automatic weapons and night sights before sawing off the horns.

During the year, 365 alleged poachers were arrested countrywide along with 36 horn traffickers, the department said.

 

- Bloomberg

Zimbabwe's government continues to explore avenues of attracting lines of credit from neighbouring South Africa after the continent's most prosperous nation rebuffed an earlier request by Harare for a R16 billion (US$1,129 billion) rescue facility, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has revealed.

South Africa has emerged as the only hope for President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration for a financial lifeline after several countries, including China, spurned its approaches, citing Harare's tendency to default on debt repayment.

Ncube confirmed in an interview this week that several meetings he held with his South African counterpart Tito Mboweni have so far failed to convince the regional economic giant to commit itself to rescuing Zimbabwe.

"There is no commitment, but we have ongoing discussions," Ncube said, adding government would welcome any form of financial assistance from south of the Limpopo.

"We are in constant talks with South Africa, they are our neighbour, biggest trading partner and we have a bi-national commission. So we have been interacting with them, to see whether they can be of help and support us whenever we need it," he said.

The Treasury boss said government remained hopeful in the face of shrinking sources of credit.

Although there remains a possibility of South Africa extending a US$7 million credit facility to clear part of Zimbabwe's World Bank arrears, the neighbouring country appears reluctant.

Mnangagwa told private media journalists a fortnight ago that: "We started engaging South Africa earlier this year when we had the cooking oil shortage. Then because of the nature of relations between us and South Africa, we said to South Africa can you give us lines of credit. So this is why discussions between the South African minister of finance, our own finance minister and the governor of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe started."

"Talks are therefore underway for a line of credit from South Africa Botswana has also given us line of credit worth 70 million Pula. What it means is that Zimbabwean businesses can get goods from those two countries worth that amount. We are then given a grace period and then we could be able to repay the credit within an agreed period of time, say to or five years. It is different from a bailout package in that it does not come with certain conditions attached to it," he added.

While critics in South Africa say lending to Zimbabwe would be a waste of money, President Cyril Ramaphosa has over the past week said there is need to support Harare.
However, he has not qualified the kind of support he would prefer.

Zimbabwe is desperate for lines of credit which could go a long way in fixing a tattered economy, which is on the verge of total collapse. Foreign currency shortages continue to haunt industry while the cost of living has soared.

To worsen the situation, Harare's biggest Western cheerleader Britain pulled the plug on Mnangagwa's re-engagement drive when London dissociated itself from the regime last week following the killing of an estimated 17 people during the suppression of violent protests which rocked the country last month while 78 others were injured and more than 1 000 were arrested.

Britain, a key Mnangagwa ally after the toppling of former president Robert Mugabe in the November 2017 coup, had also emerged as the only Western power supporting Zimbabwe's re-engagement with IMF, World Bank and re-joining Commonwealth.

Although Mnangagwa has denied that the country is seeking a bailout package, former finance minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed on a trip to China last year that government was seeking a rescue package of US$2,5 billion to support the productive sectors which include tourism, mining and manufacturing.

Acting Chinese ambassador Zhao Baogang said that they will not give Zimbabwe a bailout package, focussing instead on sponsoring infrastructural development.

 

Source - The Independent

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe has announced that he will donate half the revenue generated by his assets to his foundation.
 
Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Wednesday hailed Patrice Motsepe’s decision to give half of the funds generated by his family’s holdings to the poor, as a milestone.
 
Motsepe is the first person outside of the Unites States to join the ‘Giving Pledge’, an initiative started by Warren Buffet and Gates, which encourages the super-wealthy to donate at least half of their money to charity.
 
The African Rainbow Minerals chair announced the funds will be channeled through the Motsepe foundation.
 
The money will be distributed to various issues affecting the poor including health, education, unemployment and the upliftment of women.
 
Gates has wished the South African billionaire well.
 
“It was a wonderful thing to hear how the Motsepe’s really, as part of their moral conviction as a family, believe in giving back. I want to congratulate them.”
 
Meanwhile, Motsepe said the most effective way to deal with joblessness and poverty is to create a business environment that is globally competitive and attractive to the private sector.
 
“We don’t want Africa to forever be a continent of charity and a continent of donations. We want Africa to be self-sustaining.”
 
The businessman said the donation will contribute towards making South Africa a better place.
 
“People in my position have a huge responsibility to South Africans who are less fortunate.”
 
Motsepe will consult with church and traditional leaders, as well as various charities, to decide where the money goes.
 
 
Source: News Express
A multimillion-rand tender with the City of Johannesburg (COJ) – that had the potential to be one of the good stories of government’s vision to empower black women – has gone sour and the city is being sued R8 million for not honouring the contract.
 
Faithfulness Business Enterprise was awarded a contract to supply and deliver protective footwear for members of the metro police department – JMPD – valued at R23.760 million over three years in 2014.
 
In accordance with the tender, the company subsequently spent millions of rands and hired more staff to deliver on its contractual obligations.
 
However, the city placed only a single order for R660 000 in December 2014 and then placed orders with other suppliers, leaving the company with a mountain of costs and no orders.
 
Two years into the contract and a single order later, the city applied to the Johannesburg High Court, seeking to terminate the service level agreement on the basis that the tender process was flawed and that there were a number of irregularities.
 
However, none of the alleged irregularities was related to the company or because of its influence.
 
The court dismissed with costs of the city’s application in February last year and upheld the service level agreement as binding and valid.
 
But the city still did not place any orders with the company.
 
The company took the city to court to recoup its losses, which it initially estimated at R17 million, but after being audited amounted to R8.666 million.
 
In a letter of demand sent to the city, the company said it had suffered damages amounting to more than R17 million in respect of rental expenditure incurred in leasing premises suitable for the storage and sorting of the contracted quantities of footwear; salaries and wages of staff who were employed to ensure the capacity to meet the future orders; stationery and printing costs; vehicle costs, office equipment; and loss of profits.
 
Speaking to City Press, Selina Siganga, ownerof Faithfulness Business Enterprise, said the tender had left her worse off and had paralysed her business.
 
“Because of that contract, the banks increased the overdrafts and now I have to deal with them. I have had to lay off people I had employed and had to negotiate with them not to take me to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration because I was paying their salaries but not getting orders.
 
“This government always says it wants to support black woman in business and wants employment [to create jobs] but it is killing us,” she said.
 
Spokesperson for the city Nthatisi Modingoane opted not to comment on the matter.
 
“The matter is before the courts and thus the city will wait for the court process,” Modingoane said.
 
 
Source: City Express
It has become an accepted premise among some South Africans that the current government is responsible for the troubles facing Eskom, whether it is the financial position of the utility being compromised by corruption or so-called policy sabotage when the government barred the company from building more power stations in the late 1990s.
 
This type of analysis makes sense on the face of it since there’s a clear line between cause (corruption, incompetence) and effect (the imminent collapse of Eskom, loadshedding).
 
The problem with clear-cut, emotionally satisfying answers is that they are often wrong. Nicholas Woode-Smith, an author and managing editor of the Rational Standard, has done an economic analysis of Eskom using principles from the Austrian school of economics.
 
It is clear from Woode-Smith’s work that the core problem of everything that is wrong with Eskom is its structure as a monopoly provider of electricity.
 
Eskom simply does not have the means to receive and interpret the vital market signals necessary to calculate what its electricity price should be.
 
When demand increases, because Eskom is a political entity, it cannot adjust prices accordingly to reflect this increased demand, and thus has to violate a fundamental law of economics.
 
If Eskom were allowed to adjust prices based on demand, sadly, it would still provide electricity inefficiently due to the lack of competition inherent in its legislated monopoly, but, at least it would then be able to ensure its own survival, albeit at the cost of consumers and the economy generally.
 
The situation as it is now, Eskom is harming both itself and the economy.
 
Corruption at Eskom didn’t start with Jacob Zuma or even in 1994. Back in 1984, the assistant chief accountant was caught embezzling R8 million.
 
There were blackouts too in the past due to an inability to match demand with supply. These and other problems led to the appointment of the De Villiers commission in 1984.
 
Eskom was always doomed to fail. It started failing long before the democratic era.
 
The fundamental reason why Eskom is doomed to fail is its structure as a state-owned, monopoly provider of electricity.
 
It is often claimed that if Eskom were to be privatised, the poor would suffer the most.
 
Well, that depends on whether you want them to suffer a little now or a lot more so in the future.
 
A market for electricity would introduce price competition, which, unlike Eskom’s political prices, would be market driven and would be sustainable.
 
Future consumers would not have to pay the price they do today.
 
It is worth remembering that we have had average annual increases in the electricity price of 12.46% since 2009.
 
Cumulatively speaking and taking account of inflation, this amounts to 119.61% over the March 2009 electricity price.
 
This, on its own, destroys the argument for keeping Eskom’s legislated monopoly for “the sake of the poor”.
 
The poor would likely not have been subjected to such large increases in so short an amount of time if private electricity providers had been allowed to compete with Eskom.
 
I believe that looking back to a mythical golden age when Eskom was beating the laws of economics contributes nothing to the urgent debate we need to have about how energy should be provided to the South African economy.
 
Should we continue sustaining Eskom at any cost, a company that has never been sustainable, or, rather, should we accept the laws of economics that have worked time and time again and leave energy provision to the market?
 
Mpiyakhe Dhlamini is a data science researcher at the Free Market Foundation
 
       
 
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa did not make many new announcements his state of the nation address on Thursday night, but he used the occasion to warn those who have dabbled in corruption that government agencies will be coming for them.
 
Using the momentum of the newly appointed head of the National Prosecutions Authority, Shamila Batohi, he announced the creation of a specialised unit to deal with serious corruption and associated offences.
 
Ramaphosa said he had agreed with Batohi for the urgent need to set up this office and would soon promulgate a proclamation that will outline the specific terms of reference.
 
This will send a shiver down the spine of many of his fellow ANC leaders against whom allegations have been made at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
 
The unit or directorate will focus on the evidence that has emerged from the Zondo commission, as well as other commissions and disciplinary enquiries.
 
It will identify priority cases to investigate and prosecute and will recover assets identified to be proceeds of corruption.
 
This unit, which is already being compared to the defunct Scorpions, will help respond to public complaints that too many public representatives and government officials who are implicated in wrongdoing are let off the hook.
 
It also means that many of Ramaphosa’s opponents who have defiantly held on to positions will be handled by these processes without forcing his hand to fire them.
 
A he spoke, opposition MPs taunted him about a R500 000 donation that his ANC campaign received from Bosasa last year, implying that he could also be found wanting by these probes.
 
Ramaphosa proceeded with the speech nevertheless, without acknowledging or responding to their heckling.
 
Ramaphosa spent a lot of time speaking about the work he had done in the last year since taking over from Jacob Zuma, who was forced to resign by the ANC.
 
In particular he repeatedly mentioned his investment drive, which has attracted millions of dollars in pledges but is yet to make a direct impact on the economy.
 
“We are on the cusp of seeing direct jobs from the initiatives,” he promised.
 
As expected, a plan is also being crafted for the embattled power utility Eskom.
 
“Eskom is in crisis and the risk it poses for South Africa are great,” Ramaphosa acknowledged.
 
He said bold and decisive action was necessary and some of the consequences would be painful.
 
Without mentioning the details, it was clear the plan would either involve major restructuring or possible job losses.
 
“Eskom has come up with a the nine-point plan which we support and plan to implement. Eskom will need to take urgent steps to reduce its costs.”
 
The president was afforded space by the Economic Freedom Fighters, which had threatened to interrupt his state of the nation address unless he gave a proper explanation for the Bosasa donation.
 
But he spoke uninterrupted, which was a fresh breath of air for a Parliament used to the interruptions when Zuma was speaking.
 
Ramaphosa also spoke about a restructured intelligence service.
 
He was going to re-establish the national security council in order to better coordinate intelligence and security-related functions.
 
This follows work done by a high-level review panel on state security agency.
 
       
Source: City Express
The South African government’s plan to scrap work experience requirements for first time job seekers in the public sector has been welcomed by the local people.
 
“Any attempts to reduce youth unemployment is supposed to be welcomed, but the quality of service should not be affected,” Prof. Jannie Rossouw, head of the school of economic and business sciences at University of the Witwatersrand told Xinhua on Tuesday.
 
New graduates entering the job market will no longer be required to have work experience for an entry level government job starting from April 2019. With the country battling high levels of unemployment, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Monday noted that the new plan is aimed at tackling youth joblessness.
 
Dlodlo said the move will not have an impact on services delivered by government.
 
“This will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields. All we want is to streamline career paths and align skills,” she noted.
 
For years, unions and organizations representing young people have complained that work experience requirements for first time job seekers by employers was making it difficult for young people to enter the job market.
 
In an interview with Xinhua, South Africa’s largest trade federation COSATU’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the move was long overdue.
 
“This is going to work. The South African government policy needs to change to accommodate mostly black graduates. We should appreciate the fact that there’s no place where they sell experience.”
 
Pamla said employers should always be willing to offer young people opportunities to gain the necessary experience.
 
“Where do you expect these graduates with no experience to get experience from if you are not willing to give them opportunities. People who have graduated should not be treated as if they are illiterate,” Pamla said.
 
 
Source: AfricanVibes

Local online secondhand marketplace OLX has released several statistics about secondhand car sales in South Africa that took place in 2018.

According to a press release we have received the platform had 4.14 million ads placed on it last year with cars making up just over a quarter of that.

The first big piece of news here is that around VW and its Polo and Golf models, which top the charts as the most secondhand cars sold nationally.

The next bit of important info is about Ford as their Ranger and Fiesta models, which were the fastest selling cars nationally, nabbing first and second place in this category respectively.

“It was so amazing to watch, the moment a Ford Ranger was posted, it would be gone in few hours and marked as SOLD,” Says Nicole Depene-Sander, Marketing Manager of OLX.

The top 10 fastest selling cars in South Africa were as follows:

  1. Ford Ranger
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Nissan 1400
  4. Toyota Hilux
  5. Mercedes Benz C-Class
  6. BMD 3-Series
  7. Fiat Uno
  8. Volkswagen Polo
  9. Toyota Tazz
  10.  Opel Corsa

In addition to this OLX has also revealed which cars were the fastest selling in Each province. In Gauteng, for example, the Audi A4 was the fastest selling with the most replies and listings, but the Fiat Uno was the fastest selling with less listings.

You can view the full release in Google Docs here where the breakdowns for each province are available in full. You can also see this summarised as a pair of infographics at the bottom of this story.

Looking over all of these results it’s important to note that they’re quite limited. They are restricted to transactions that happened on OLX, so private and dealer sales are not included, and neither are those which take place on other similar sites such as Junk Mail and Gumtree.

The press release we received also didn’t mention specific numbers such as total cars sold in each category or the exact mathematical definition of the term “fastest selling cars”.

Still, it’s interesting to see what a certain selection of South Africans are buying when it comes to cars.

Credit: htxt.co.za

South African archaeologists have rediscovered what the “lost city” of Kweneng looked like, using LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) technology.

The researchers have been studying the site for decades.

Source: BBC

South Africa is popularly known by tourists as the Adventure Capital of Africa and quite possibly, the whole world.

Tourism in South Africa increased after they successfully hosted the World Cup in 2010 but it’s the attractions and beautiful sites that bring in millions of tourist into the country every year.

Regardless of the kind of adventure you’re looking for, South Africa has a lot to offer for everyone. If you’re into extreme sports, there are quite a number available such as Bungee Jumping, Shark Cage Diving, Kite Boarding, Sky Diving, and so much more. The exciting wildlife including the big five - Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant, and Cape Buffalo are equally thrilling.

The beautiful country is ever-evolving, and with new developments come new opportunities and risks. Here we highlight a few tips that travelers should pay attention to in 2019.

Stay away from Airbnb

Airbnb, Apartment, Rental, Logo, Holiday, Screen

If you’re on a budget, you might be considering staying at an Airbnb. It’s usually more economical and they blend you right in the city if that’s your thing. This, however, might be a risky move you are in South Africa. According to the Municipal Planning By-Law and Zone Restrictions in South Africa, some Airbnb lettings may be illegal. In Cape Town, for example, letting out flats and apartments in the City Centre is illegal without the proper approval and licenses. The property would also need to be appropriately zoned.

You definitely do not want to get caught in the middle of all of these legalities while you’re on vacation, so it’s advisable to stick to a traditional bed and breakfast, a guest house or a hotel and stay away from Airbnb if in doubt.

Got Change? Keep them

Money, South, Africa, Nelson, Mandela, Rand, 100, 50

Now that your vacation is over, don’t be in a hurry to change all of your South Africa Rand into your local currency. If you’ve got some change in rand, keep them.

The South Africa Rand has been the world’s strongest currency against the dollar over the past three years. The currency is really good and the economy is continually getting better. So, keep the change for a later date.

Stay safe on public Wi-Fi

Iphone, Smartphone, Apps, Apple Inc, Mobile Phone

The City Walk is the best way to discover cape town. It gives you a look into Cape Town’s Central Business District and an opportunity to experience some of the sights and sounds in Cape Town. It also boasts a free public Wi-Fi available along the entire walk.

One thing to note however is the lack of security on public networks. You put yourself at risk of a particular type of eavesdropping attack known as Man-In-The-Middle attack, where a hacker in proximity can interception your unencrypted traffic and get access to your usernames, passwords, and credit card details - just about everything you send through the internet. It is up to you to keep your digital information safe and private online, especially in the land of a foreign government. To mask your data from snooping, connect to a VPN’s South Africa VPN server for a speedy connection while also encrypting your data for privacy and security.

Don’t miss shows from home

Netflix, Peliculas, Youtube, Digital, Video, Movie

If you have a favorite show that you can’t wait to watch, getting geo-blocked on the go can get quite frustrating. Again, you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to overcome geo-restrictions. To change your IP, you can set your location online to your home country by connecting to a server location at home. This gives apps and websites the false sense that you are logging in from home, and that’s how you can gain access to cloud services and entertainment content as usual.

Credit: TechWarn.com

  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« February 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28