Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
photo: brakpanherald.co.za

Why You’ll Be Paying More For Fuel From Today

The Energy Department says a number of factors have contributed to the fuel price increase, including a weaker rand and the new Carbon Tax levy on petrol. From Wednesday, motorists will pay 9 cents more per litre for both grades of petrol, 13 cents more for a litre of diesel and paraffin will cost 8 cents more. Earlier this year the National Assembly passed the long-awaited Carbon Tax Bill.

Sibanye-Stillwater Reduces Job Cut Plan In Gold Shake-Up

Sibanye-Stillwater said on Wednesday about 3,450 jobs would be lost in the proposed restructuring of the South African company’s gold mining operations, following financial losses at some of its mines since 2017. The number of job losses is lower than a February forecast that put layoffs at about 5,870 employees and 800 contractors.

JHB City Manager Takes Responsibility For Alex Home Demolitions

Johannesburg city manager Ndivhoniswa Lukhwareni said on Wednesday he took full responsibility for the demolition of homes in Alexandra last week. Lukhwareni has been giving evidence at the South African Human Rights Commission inquiry looking into problems in Alexandra. Last Friday, the Red Ants demolished 80 illegally built houses in the area, leaving hundreds homeless. However, Lukhwareni said the city did obtain a court order.

Zondo Instructs Legal Team To Investigate Former ANN7 Editor’s Claims On SABC

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday instructed the state capture inquiry’s legal team to investigate whether other TV stations had measures in place to verify whether they were being cheated by clients who buy archive footage from them. Zondo expressed concerns as the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) had no way to monitor whether ANN7 failed to declare that it used more than the 2,000 minutes it bought from the SABC.

Transnet, Gupta-Linked Firm Contract Was Clear Evidence Of Fraud, Zondo Hears

A corporate finance expert described some of the payments Transnet made to Gupta-linked consultancy firm Regiments Capital as clear evidence of fraud. Jonathan Bloom made the allegation on Wednesday at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown. The commission investigators commissioned Bloom to investigate several questionable finance advisory contracts the state-owned company entered into.

‘What Is This Obsession With Sarb?’- Mboweni

African National Congress (ANC) heavyweights have been quick to reassure investors that the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) mandate will not expand following mixed messages sent regarding the party’s position. On Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told journalists the national executive committee (NEC) had resolved to expand the mandate of the central bank to not only be set on price stability, but also include growth and employment. Finance Minister Tito Mbwoweni turned to Facebook to set the record straight.

‘We’re Sorry’: City Of Tshwane Apologises Following Widespread Blackouts

The City of Tshwane has apologised to residents for widespread power cuts. The City said it would increase capacity for future routine maintenance projects on its power stations. Several areas in the capital were affected on Tuesday after the Njala substation tripped. Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and utility services MMC Abel Tau visited the station to assess the damage. Tau says technicians spent most of the day working to repair the substation and to restore power to the affected areas.

Sars Declares War On ‘Crippling’ Illicit Economy

South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the revenue service would take a fresh look at the illicit economy in South Africa in order develop a new approach to dealing with the problem. Kieswetter was responding to a question at a briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, where he said he would not be reviving units shut down by his predecessor.  It’s estimated about R7 billion is lost in the illicit tobacco trade alone. Kieswetter said the illicit economy was not something they’d ignore.

What To Look Out For

Modise Taking No Nonsense From MPs, Wants Committees To Sit Every Day

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has cracked the whip in Parliament, saying there is no reason that committees should not meet every day of the week to deal with their workload. “Nothing says you can’t sit every day of the week as a portfolio committee and make sure that you do the work. So, this thing of a committee sitting only once a week – we should really kick against it.” Modise made it clear that she wanted committees – known as the engines of Parliament – to work hard.

Spotlight Back On Transnet At State Capture Inquiry

The spotlight will be back on Transnet at the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday morning. Corporate finance expert Jonathan Bloom is expected to conclude his evidence related to several questionable contracts. Meanwhile, former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sales employee Josais Scott said ANN7 received a discount on archive material from the public broadcaster before it launched in 2013. The deal was allegedly facilitated by Gupta ally and former Oakbay Investments CEO Nazeem Howa.