Miners are trying to revive the gold industry in South Africa

In the southwest of Johannesburg, teams of miners are trying to recover the gold industry, which was the driving force of the South African economy in previous years. Gold Fields South Deep mine were targeted because it had world’s second-biggest known body of gold-bearing ore deposits.
The gold deposit is big enough to be mined for next 70 years, which could significantly boost South Africa’s gold production. The problem however, is that the high cost and technical challenges of mining has caused Gold Fields to not make a profit, sending almost R30bn on the mine. CEO Nick Holland remains confident that things will come around.

Most of the spending by Gold Fields’ has been in mechanising the mine to increase output and productivity. The mining company is also increasing training of workers to use the new machines and equipment, and bring facilitators from Australia to oversee the process.

Source: fin24.com

All eyes on Zimbabwe as votes are counted



Zimbabwe saw the highest election turnout in years, during its first vote post-Mugabe that took place on Monday 30 July. Votes are still being counted and poll leaders President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa are upbeat as the count continues. More than 5.5 million people were registered to vote, and the turnout was approximately 70%. Voting closed at 7PM on Monday.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is expected to announce preliminary results today, with final results expected on the 4 August 2018. ZEC confirmed that there have been no cases of rigging or cheating in the elections, contradictory to the social media.

The election has been deemed a ‘two-horse race’ between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa.                 

Mnangagwa is currently in the lead, but Chamisa is hoping to be Zimbabwe’s youngest head of state.

Chamisa tweet: “Winning resoundingly, we have now results from the majority of over 1000 polling stations.

“We’ve done exceedingly well.               

“Awaiting ZEC to perform their constitutional duty to officially announce the people’s election results and we are ready to reform the next government.”

The results were said will be released today at 3PM, but ZEC has not made any announcements as  yet.  The media and people around the globe continue to watch closely for the for the results. 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane


Brazil says China will re-evaluate trade barriers on sugar, poultry

China’s President Xi Jinping has told his Brazilian counterpart, President Michel Temer that the country will evaluate trade barriers the Asian nation imposed on Brazilian raw sugar and poultry imports.

China announced anti-dumping duties on Brazilian poultry and sugar, in order to protect domestic producers last month.

The two Presidents met last week during the 10th BRICS Summit that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Temer said during a meeting at Sao Paulo’s Industry Federation Fiesp that he asked China to reconsider the additional tariffs imposed on both Brazilian products as anti-dumping measures.

On 27 July, Chinese authorities announced that they are willing to meet with Brazilian officials to negotiate and seek possible ways to reduce and eliminate the tariffs imposed on Brazilian chicken and sugar.  

Brazil first announced that they are considering raising the issue of Chinese tariffs on poultry meat and sugar to the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Source:  Reuters

Russia wins WTO dispute against Ukraine on railway equipment imports

A World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute panel has ruled in favour of Russia over its alleged refusal to import Ukrainian railway equipment.

According to the capital city of Ukraine, Kiev,Russia has purchased wagons, rolling stock, turnouts and other components from Ukraine since 2013.

According to Russia Today, before the relations between Moscow and Kiev deteriorated, railway equipment had been Ukraine’s most valuable export to Russia. In 2011, it accounted for $3.2 billion out of a total of $19.8 billion of export sales to Russia. The value of such exports plummeted to $150 million in the past years.

The WTO has taken Russia’s position, which claimed it was highly unsafe to send inspectors to Eastern Ukraine, due to the conflict in the region, so that they could check that the exports complied with Russian standards.

Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development said in a statement; “The panel fully agreed with Russia’s position and recognised that there was no systematic restriction of imports of Ukrainian equipment by Russia.”

However, the WTO ruled that Russia could have made the compliance check outside the Ukraine and should have accepted conformity assessment certificates issued by Belarus and Kazakhstan, which are both members of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union trading bloc.

“With regard to the so-called non-recognition of certificates issued by the competent authorities of other Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states, Russia intends to act in full compliance with the contractual base of the EEU and the technical regulations of the Union,” Russia’s statement added.

Source: rt.com



Turkey wants to join BRICS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogen, has voiced interest in joining the BRICS bloc, stating that BRICS should add a “T” to the acronym. With Turkey’s full membership to the European Union having stalled for almost 13 years now, Turkey has been looking for alternatives in the direction of its foreign policy.

There has been an increase in tensions between the US and Turkey in last few years. The Syrian Civil War and the attempted 2016 Coup in Turkey has put strain on the US-Turkey relationship to a point where Anti-American rhetoric has increased through all layers of the Turkish society. America’s support of Syrian Kurdish fighters has brought on added strain to the tensions.

During the 2018 BRICS Summit, Turkey was invited to the BRICS Plus discussion where all 5 BRICS members showed openness to the expansion of the bloc. Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Summit even called for the expansion of BRICS.

Turkey’s dissatisfaction with Western foreign policy has grown in recent years, resulting in distrust.

Stevan Gajic from the Institute for European Studies in Belgrade, stated that Turkey’s pivot away from the West is something very personal that prompted Erdogan to search for new allies. The Russian-Turkey relationship on the other hand has done complete 180, from Turkey shooting down a Russian jet, to both countries working together in Syria to bring about a cease fire.

Russia and Turkey has a lot of aligning interests where Syria is concerned, but it is highly unlikely that Turkey will leave NATO just yet. BRICS proves to be a very favourable bloc to join, since there are no official requirements for joining.

Source: rt.com

Japan pledges to cut plutonium stockpile amid growing concern by neighbours

Japan has pledged to reduce its controversial stocks of plutonium, the world’s biggest inventory of the highly toxic material held by a non-nuclear armed state. This follows pressure from the United States, China and other countries.

According to Reuters,the Japanese government did not outline by how much and when it will cut the stockpiles of plutonium it holds.

Japan has shut down most of its reactors that can use the material as fuel after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011.

Local media reported in June that the U.S. government had asked Japan to trim its stockpiles ahead of an extension this month of a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement.

Japan Atomic Energy Commission said the country will reduce the size of its plutonium stockpile.

The Japanese government also said in a separate release that it maintains the principle of not owning plutonium ,whose use is unspecified of holding all nuclear materials under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Director for atomic energy at Japan’s Cabinet Office, Takahiro Hayashi said: “We have stated specific measures to trim plutonium stockpiles.”

In 2017, Japan held 47 tonnes of plutonium, including 21 tonnes stored in pre-processing facilities in Britain and 15 tonnes in France, enough to make thousands of atomic bombs.

Japan is the only nation without atomic weapons to have significant amounts of plutonium. This has led to security concerns from China and other neighbouring countries.

Source: reuters.com


The 10th BRICS Summit outcomes


South Africa concluded a successful 10th BRICS Summit that was hosted by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, from the 25 – 27 July. In attendance was heads of state and government of South Africa, Russia, Russia, India and China (BRICS), Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Angola, Senegal, Namibia, Jamaica, Uganda, Togo, Gabon, Argentina , DRC, Botswana, Turkey, Lesotho, Madagascar , Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The 10th BRICS Summit was held under an extensive agenda, this was shown in the diversity of discussions – development, economic growth, prosperity, peace and security.

“The BRICS countries are firmly in agreement on the need to safeguard and strengthen multilateralism”, according to the statement released by the Presidency.

BRICS leaders committed to the full implementation of the United nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and its 17 sustainable development goals. The bloc emphasized the need for BRICS countries to heighten cooperation on peacekeeping.

“BRICS pledged to support African development, industrialisation and infrastructure development as contained in the NEPAD programmes and African Union’s Agenda 2063.”

BRICS endorsed an initiative of enhancing BRICS cooperation in health through the establishment of a BRICS vaccine Centre, which will promote research and development in the medical field. The bloc recognised the potential inherent in the tourism sector and in BRICS countries then endorsed the development of a BRICS Tourism Track within BRICS. The leaders also agreed to woman empowerment –the establishment of a BRICS women’s forum.

Members of the bloc signed the following agreements;

Memorandum of understanding on collaborative research on distributed ledger and block chain technology in the context of the development in the context of the development of digital economy. Memorandum of understanding on BRICS regional aviation partnership and agreement for the establishment of regional offices of the new development bank in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

SADC plans to team up with BRICS on infrastructure.

During the 10th BRICS Summit, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) sat with business leaders to discuss collaboration between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) on industrialisation and infrastructure development.

The Executive Secretary of SADC,Stergomena Lawrence said SADC was very honoured to participate in the Outreach for the first time.

“It was an opportunity for us to engage but also to exchange views and ideas. It was a great experience for us.”

Lawrence said that the discussion explained opportunities between SADC and BRICS and how they can work together.

“SADC has prioritised on industrialisation and infrastructural development. Peace and security is also part of our priorities.”

She hopes that the New Development Bank Africa Regional Centre (NDB ARC)  in South Africa will assist financially with their upcoming projects.

“If you are talking about industrialisation or infrastructural development, you are also talking about investments.” Lawrence said.

“The problem when we talk about projects is to have projects that are bankable. Finances and investors are there but you need to have bankable projects that you can sell to your financers. “

She included some of the great opportunities between SADC and BRICS that are underway.

“I signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia on SADC corporate with the military. That is also good to help us enhance our cooperation in the peace and security area.” Lawrence said.

She mentioned that SADC is currently finalising cooperation framework with China.

“We move as part of the continent, we also believe that this kind of partnership which has been forged today is also going to enable SADC to contribute to continental integration agendas,”  Lawrence added.

Source: CNBC Africa


China Carmaker ready to enter South African Market

BAIC China’s state owned Car manufacturer has revealed its plans take on well-known car brands in South Africa, with the facility in the Eastern Cape in the first stage of completion.

BAIC has invested R11 Billion in to the plant in Coega, Port Elizabeth where it plans to produce vehicle for not only South Africa but for Africa as well. BAIC has created a very aggressive marketing strategy, already partnering with 17 dealerships, with plans to increase to 27 by year-end.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that BAIC conducting its operations in South Africa is thanks to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between South Africa and China in 2015, with more cooperation between the two countries expected to increase in the future.

BAIC also aims to produce 100, 000 vehicles every year from the plant. 1500 construction jobs have already been created with a further R200 million in contacts to local business also expected to come out of the deal.

Source: mybroadband.co.za

Mali vote counting under way under tight security

Mali citizens went out to cast their vote for a new President on 29 July 2018. The elections were marred by violence which led to a low voter turnout. More than 30 000 security personnel were deployed throughout the country, however, attacks at the polling stations and election officials were intimidated.

Only eight million people were registered to vote, the candidates were businessmen, an astrophysicist and one woman. Counting started after the polls closed at Sunday evening.The sitting President of Mali, President Ibrahim Boubacar Kieta is hopeful to get a second term following the outcome of this election.

In some parts of the country, voting did not take place because of lack of security, with an estimated 644 of the 23 000 polling stations closed. Results are expected to come out after a few days and candidates are not allowed to announce anything before the official announcement is made.

(Source: Africa News)