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Southern Africa

S.African c.bank defies expectations by keeping rates at 6.75%

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South Africa’s central bank kept its benchmark repo rate at 6.75 percent on Thursday, defying expectations of a cut based on easing inflation pressures and a sluggish recovery from a recession in the first half of the year. Of 26 economists polled by Reuters, 17 had predicted a 25 basis point cut and one a 50 basis point reduction. The ...

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Zimbabwe to pay $1.8BN in foreign arrears only when economy is stronger: finance minister

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Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister on Wednesday said the southern African nation would not be able pay $1.8 billion in arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) until economic fundamentals improve. Patrick Chinamasa said in a radio interview that a payment plan agreed with foreign lenders in 2015 in Lima, Peru, could only proceed once Zimbabwe has reduced its ...

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SA’s state-owned companies had been “captured”: Ramaphosa

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South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a leading contender to become head of the ruling ANC in December, stepped up his criticism of the government on Sunday, saying state-owned companies had been “captured” and funds looted from them. Ramaphosa’s remarks during a speech to an African National Congress meeting in the old diamond-mining town of Kimberley were tougher than others ...

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Zambia GDP growth seen rising to 6.1% by 2020

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Zambia’s economy will grow by 5.0 percent in 2018, 5.1 percent in 2019 and 6.1 percent in 2020, up from 4.3 percent in 2017, the ministry of finance said in a statement on Sunday. The country’s fiscal deficit is expected to be 7.0 percent in 2017, 6.3 percent in 2018 and 4.3 percent in 2019, then drop to 2.6 percent ...

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Zim retailers raise alarm on food shortages

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Retailers in Zimbabwe want the central bank to put a speedy end to foreign payment bottlenecks for suppliers of goods and commodities to shops in the country. This comes as shortages have started to emerge, owing to a foreign currency crunch. Pick n Pay, in partnership with Zimbabwe’s TM Supermarkets and OK Zimbabwe, are the largest retailers in Zimbabwe. They ...

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BLSA wants details on Hawks investigation against Gordhan

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Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) aired its concern on Wednesday about former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s alleged victimisation by the Hawks. It called on the Hawks to confirm whether they are indeed investigating Gordhan. “The business community has lost confidence that the SA Revenue Service (SARS), the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are independent and are acting without ...

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South Africa aims to pass delayed mining law by December: minister

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Amendments to South Africa’s mineral resources law are expected to be passed by December and provide greater investor certainty, Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Thursday. Changes to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act were initially passed by parliament three years ago but were then sent back to lawmakers by President Jacob Zuma in 2015 due to concerns over ...

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South Africa’s business confidence at lowest in over 30 years

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South Africa’s business confidence index fell to its lowest in more than three decades in August as merchandise import and export volumes fell, a survey showed on Wednesday. The business group said South Africa’s economic performance was sub-optimal despite an positive global outlook, and improved business confidence was needed to revitalise domestic growth. The South African Chamber of Commerce and ...

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South Africa’s Shoprite fined for “reckless lending” – regulator

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South African retailer Shoprite has been fined 1 million rand ($77,500) for failing to assess properly whether consumers could afford its loans, the National Consumer Tribunal said on Wednesday. The company, which had turnover in its last financial year of 141 billion rand ($11 billion), was also ordered to appoint a debt counselor at its own costs following what the ...

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Farming helps grow South African economy out of recession

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South Africa emerged from a recession in the second quarter as agriculture helped the economy expand more than expected, official figures showed on Tuesday, strengthening the rand and bonds. Africa’s most industrialised economy grew 2.5 percent in the three months to the end of June, after contracting by 0.6 percent in the first quarter and by 0.3 percent in the ...

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