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Strategic Fuel Fund Supports Sale Of SA Strategic Fuel Stock By Central Energy Fund

 May 27  2016  109:30 l   

THE Central Energy Fund (CEF), the holding company of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), on Thursday came out in support of the decision to sell SA’s entire strategic fuel stock, claiming that fuel security had not been compromised as the government could access the fuel from the new buyer.

A glaring omission from its statement is that SA will have to buy the fuel back if needed. If the stocks that were sold in December had to be replaced at current oil prices, the SFF would make a loss of $220m.

The stocks — about 10-million barrels — were sold in December for about $28 a barrel. Yesterday’s oil price was just more than $50 a barrel.

"We wish to reiterate that the integrity of the strategic stocks is secured and that the group will be able to respond to any challenge should it arise," CEF director Tseliso Maqubela said.

As the SFF has secured the right of first refusal on the stocks from the buyer in the event of a crisis, Maqubela argues that fuel security has not been compromised. In fact, he says, SA now has the right of first refusal over a larger quantity of crude than it sold originally and so has enhanced its fuel security.

"It should also be noted that … the country had 21 days reserves of strategic stocks.

"After the December 2015 rotation, the country now has access to 90 days reserves, which is 30 days more than the required volumes."

The SFF and Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson have described the sale as a "rotation" — which they say is necessary as crude oil stocks deteriorate over time. However, as they sold at the bottom of the price cycle, the "rotation" is unlikely to have a neutral effect on the balance sheet.

The SFF has not named the successful buyer but did disclose that three large global oil traders were invited to participate in a closed tender. They are Dutch firm Vitol, which partnered with black economic empowerment (BEE) firm Vesquin; Swiss firm Glencore, which partnered with Venus Trade; and Nigerian company Taleveras.

Vitol is a partner in local firm Burgan Oil, which is constructing a new fuel storage facility for finished products in Cape Town. Also a partner in Burgan is Thebe Investments, which is 47% owned by the Batho Batho Trust, of which the sole beneficiary is the ANC.

Vitol’s partner in the bid was Vesquin, which it owns together with BEE firm Elderberry, owned by energy entrepreneur Simphiwe Mehlomakulu.

The successful buyer stands to gain handsomely from the so-called contango, as it now holds crude bought at a far lower price than the future price is anticipated to be. But while the market is generally betting on a rising oil price, the SFF is betting that it will fall below even the $28 at which it sold.

Acting CEO of the SFF Sibusiso Gamede said on Wednesday he was not concerned about the price, which would move both up and down. "The problems of overproduction by Saudi Arabia and Iran will again lead to over production and a decline in prices. This presents SFF with further market opportunities to optimise value in a low crude oil price market environment."



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Africa economic Blocks

Overlapping Trade Blocs Undermine Africa Regional Integration

 May 25  2016  10:20 l   

Regional integration is a key strategy for development and intra-regional trade. It is expected to produce huge economic gains for Africa such as creation of jobs, economic diversification, as well as reduction of poverty and inequality. However, overlapping memberships of competing groups is undermining regional integration on the continent.

Discussions about integration have been on for decades in Africa. Distinct blocs representing specific regions on the continent were formed starting with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) were also established to foster economic integration in their respective regions. There is also the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) in North Africa which has been comatose for years due to militancy and political tensions in the region.

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toyota 2014

Toyota Injects R6.1bn Into SA Automobile Industry

 May 24  2016  12:20 l   

President Jacob Zuma is due to officially commission a new Toyota manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban, on Tuesday.

The plant, which will manufacture new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models, is part of Toyota's injection of R6.1bn investment into SA's automobile industry.

The investment by the Japanese manufacturer is a demonstration of the continued confidence that global automotive producers have in SA.

Earlier this month Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced the establishment of a team of technical experts to develop a post-2020 automotive master plan.

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money 2014

Stop Playing With Our Economy To Score Political Points- NPA Boss Appealed

 May 23  2016  15:22 l   

Pretoria – Reports of the imminent arrest of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were being used to score political points and had subsequently thrown the rand into turmoil, National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams said on Monday.

“The matter is not on my desk. It will only make its way to me once the investigation has been concluded and recommendations are made to me. I call on all concerned, including the media, politicians, legal commentators and economists, to stop playing with our economy,” Abrahams told reporters at the National Prosecuting Authority’s headquarters in Pretoria.

Full Story

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cyril 2014

Coordination of Infrustructure In SA Has Paid Dividends- Ramaphosa

 May 11  2016  21:50 l   

Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has mooted investments in the infrastructure and ICT sectors in South Africa and Africa.

Ramaphosa was wooing potential investors at the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF Africa) in Kigali in Rwanda.

In a session on how innovative partnerships can bridge financing gaps for economic and social infrastructure, Ramaphosa said that “infrastructure has been a key economic driver in South Africa and in the region”.

Full Story

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vodacom 2014

Vodacom To Stop Offering  M-Pesa Mobile Banking

 May 09  2016  10:50 l   

Johannesburg - Vodafone Group’s South African unit Vodacom Group will stop offering its mobile-banking product M-Pesa in the country as the strength of the banking system means fewer customers are taking up the service than in other sub-Saharan African markets.

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VW To Give New Black Suppiers Business Opportunity

 May 05  2016  20:50 l   

Cape Town - Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) wants to work with new black- and women-owned manufacturing suppliers to help South Africa reach its economic transformation goals, it said in a statement on Thursday.

 Full Story

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The African Continent Is Losing More Than R1.16 trillion Through Illicit Outflow

 April 22  2016  22:30 l   

Johannesburg - The African continent was losing more than $80bn (R1.16trn) a year through illicit outflows, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Monday.

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There Are Ways SA Can Avoid Junk Status - Lesiba Mothata

 April 22  2016  22:30 l   

Cape Town - There are ways SA could avoid a ratings downgrade to junk status and turn the tide on the decline, according to Lesiba Mothata, chief economist at Investment Solutions.

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Consumers To Pay 7.64% More For Electricity From July 1st

 April 19  2016 17:30 l   

Cape Town – Consumers who receive their power from municipalities will see electricity prices jump by about 7.64% on July 1, after energy regulator Nersa approved the increase for municipalities this week.

Full Story

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SA Post Office Fails To Pay Leased Cars

 April 14  2016 15:50 l   

Pretoria - The beleaguered South African Post Office stands to lose a fleet of 4 000 cars after failing to pay the leasing company.

Full Story

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South Africans Can Now Apply For Smart ID Cards At Local Banks

 April 11  2016 18:50 l   

Cape Town - South Africans can finally apply for their smart ID cards at local banks following the launch of the eChannel programme.

Full Story

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SA Investors Plan To Make Offer For 10% Of Barclays Africa Group

 April 08  2016 16:50 l   

Johannesburg - A group of South African investors plan to make an offer for 10% of the shares in Barclays Africa Group, a person familiar with the matter said.

Full Story

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SA Trade Deficit Decreased To R1.07bn In February 2016

 March 31  2016 18:15 l   

Cape Town – South Africa’s trade deficit decreased to R1.07bn in February, falling significantly from its revised January deficit of R17.96bn, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) announced on Thursday.

Full Story

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Sanral Accused Of Blaming E-Toll Opponents For Its Financial Woes

 March 29  2016 14:40 l   

Cape Town – E-toll owner Sanral was on Monday accused of blaming its financial woes and credit rating pressures on opponents of the controversial Gauteng road payment system.

Full Story

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Cell C In A Legal Battle With BEE Partner

 March 24  2016 19:40 l   

A LARGE empowerment shareholder at debt-laden cellular services group Cell C is looking to disrupt a much-needed recapitalisation exercise initiated by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms.

Full Story

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Gauteng Tolling Equipment Is Unreliable -Outa

 March 22  2016 11:40 l   

Cape Town – Anti e-toll group Outa said on Monday that it has “plenty of evidence” indicating the Gauteng tolling equipment is unreliable.  Full Story

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Chicken War Is Over, US Delivers First Shipment

 March 03  2016 08:50 l   

Cape Town - The arrival of the first shipment of US chicken in South Africa on Monday marked the resolution of a long-standing stalemate between South Africa and the US over poultry imports.   Full Story

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Trevor Manuel Commends Pravin Gordhan For Budget Presentation

 February 25  2016 20:10 l   

Cape Town – Former finance minister Trevor Manuel praised Pravin Gordhan for taking up the challenge and delivering a budget two months after his reappointment. Full Story

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Tax Law Amendment On Retirement Postponed to 2018

 February 18  2016 11:10 l   

Cape Town - For the second year in a row President Jacob Zuma’s government has been forced to backpedal on provisions in the Tax Amendment Act that compel South Africans to put two-thirds of their provident fund savings in a retirement annuity. Full Story

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ANC Courting Business Leaders To Help Rescue SA Economy 

 February 16  2016 11:10 l   

Johannesburg - The ANC has jilted its long-standing labour union allies and is courting business leaders to help it rescue South Africa's economy, which is teetering on the brink of a recession and a downgrade of the nation's credit rating to junk. Full Story

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Gradual Rising House Price Growth In Some Segments 

 February 05  2016 16:00 l   
Cape Town - Nominal year-on-year growth in the average value of middle-segment homes in the South African residential property market remained in single digits in January 2016, according to Jacques du Toit, property analyst at Absa Home Loans.  Full Story 

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The Risk Of A Recession Mounting In SA 

 January 28  2016 11:50 l   
Johannesburg - The risk of a recession in South Africa this year is mounting, making policy decisions more difficult for a central bank battling to balance the need to contain inflation and support a stuttering economy. Full Story

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Portfolio Committee Corrects Its Statement About Outa And E-Toll 

 January 27  2016 12:30 l   
Cape Town - The Portfolio Committee on Transport said on Wednesday that it erroneously stated that the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) is not opposed to e-tolling. Full Story

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Chinese Tourists Picking Up In SA 

 January 18  2016 19:10 l  
Cape Town - The number of Chinese tourists who visited South Africa in October 2015 increased by 85.6% to 7 902 compared to October 2014, Statistics SA said on Monday.

Full Story

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Regulating OTTs Could Harm The Industry And Consumers - Cell C

 January 14  2016 18:40 l   
Johannesburg - South Africa’s third largest mobile network Cell C says that possible local regulation of over-the-top (OTT) services like WhatsApp could harm the industry and consumers.
OTT services - which range from WhatsApp to Skype and Google Full Story

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Shockwaves As Finance Minister Is Removed    

December 10  2015 19:10 l   

Cape Town - The Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) has warned that the shock removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister is worrying. Full Story

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SA Rating Close To Junk Status    

December 07  2015 13:30 l   
Johannesburg - If investors needed reminding about the quandary facing the Reserve Bank, they just got it from two credit-rating companies.  While statements on Friday from Full Story



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