Around 14 silos filled with 11 500 tons of canola seeds collapsed at the Sentraal-Suid Koöperasie in Swellendam.]]> |||
Cape Town - Around 14 silos filled with 11 500 tons of canola seeds collapsed on the premises of the Sentraal-Suid Koöperasie (SSK) in Swellendam on Tuesday morning.
“About 08h30 this morning I received a call from one personnel. I rushed down there and when I arrived 14 silos were down,” the chief executive of the co-operative, Erenst Pelser, said.
“Fortunately no personnel were injured and that’s actually a miracle. Luckily, they were on the other side of the premises, busy on the wheat and barley side.”
A team of engineers were expected in Swellendam on Wednesday morning to investigate the cause of the collapse, and also to advise the agricultural co-operative how it could recover the canola seeds.
“Our first priority is to recover the seeds on the ground. I think it is possible, but we must first be advised by the engineers on how to do it because there’s a possibility that the other silos could collapse,” Pelser said.
Eight of the metal silos are still standing.
The seeds were destined for the Southern Oils factory to manufacture canola oil.
Pelser said they were currently looking for alternative sites to store the seeds if they are recovered.
“We have storage space in Ashton and are looking for alternative sites to store the seeds,” he said.
Pelser said there was currently no danger of supply to Southern Oils being compromised.
“Even if we can’t recover the canola seeds, there’s more than enough canola left to supply to factory.”
African News Agency]]>
Two people collapsed and died in the Khayelitsha Shopping Mall in unusually high temperatures on Monday.]]> |||
Cape Town - Two people collapsed and died in the Khayelitsha Shopping Mall in unusually high temperatures on Monday.
The mall, which is built around an open courtyard, caters to thousands of people from the area.
Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that two people had died in the mall in Khayelitsha but could not give further details.
Pheziswa Mhlanga, a cleaner at the mall, said: “I have never seen a person lose their life in front of me before.
“The man came in leaning on the person he was with, and after he fell we took off the jersey he was wearing because it was hot.”
Mhlanga said she could not say if the unusually hot day - the mercury reached 34°C in the city - had anything to do with the man’s death.
“I don’t know what caused the man’s death. Even though it was hot, he might have had other illnesses which might have caused him to collapse.”
Another employee at the mall, Nkosinathi Magubudela, who attended to the second person who collapsed and died, said the man was still alive when he was alerted to the incident.
“We got a call that a man had collapsed, and when we attended to him he was still alive but died minutes later.
“I was shaking the whole of yesterday (Monday) from seeing a man die in front of me.
“At first I didn’t believe he was dead because he was breathing minutes before.”
He said in the five years he had worked at the mall no one had died there.
Lungile Thethelwa, one of the centre’s managers, said the mall served a large part of Khayelitsha.
“We deal with a lot of people daily, and what we usually have to attend to are people who suffer from epileptic fits. We’ve never had to evacuate a dead person.”
Faizel Sulayman, also with the mall’s management, said two fatalities were reported during the “very hot day” and everybody had been saddened by events.
Carlyle might announce new purchases for its sub-Saharan Africa fund early next year as it wants to reap growth benefits.]]> |||
London - Carlyle Group, the world’s second-largest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds, said it may announce new purchases for its sub-Saharan Africa fund early next year as it forecasts the region will grow faster than all other areas except India and China.
“We’re looking at companies in Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Kenya as well as some pan-African businesses,” Marlon Chigwende, manager of the $698 million African fund, said by phone from London on Monday. “It’s a very busy time, but this year-end might be a little too soon for us to announce anything.” He declined to give more details because the information is sensitive.
Carlyle is targeting banking, consumer goods, manufacturing and business processing to add investments in five more companies from the four it currently holds, Chigwende said. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa economies next year and greater stability in their currencies starting in the second half of 2016 will spark more private equity deals, he said.
The International Monetary Fund projects expansion in sub- Saharan Africa will be 4.3 percent in 2016, compared with 6.4 percent in emerging and developing Asian nations.
The fund advised commodity trader Traxys Sarl, which it acquired last year, to expand by buying South African commodity trader Metmar last month, Chigwende said.
The fund sold its minority stake in Dar es Salaam-based agricultural supply chain Export Trading Group to management in July after three years because it fetched an attractive price and the timing was right, he said.
South Africa’s Purchasing Managers’ Index has dropped to its lowest level since August 2009, showing that the sector continues to battle.]]> |||
Johannesburg - South Africa’s Purchasing Managers’ Index has dropped to its lowest level since August 2009, showing that the sector continues to battle, despite relief in continued power supply.
The index, released on Wednesday by Barclays, fell “sharply” to 43.3 points from 48.1 in October. All of its major subcomponents are now below the neutral 50-point mark.
Barclays Africa economist Miyelani Maluleke notes this indicates that business conditions in the sector, which contributes a large portion to gross domestic product at 17 percent, remain challenging - despite the fact that SA was celebrating having avoided a recession just a week ago.
Maluleke adds it is clear the sector will not end the year on a high note, with growth expected to weaken further, and there will not be an early rebound in the new year. “Manufacturing is confronted by broad-based demand weakness,” says Barclays Africa.
Among the indexes that have dropped below 50 are new sales orders, business orders, expected business conditions and the employment index - indicating that the outlook for jobs, which was poor, has worsened, says Maluleke.
He notes these figures point to an underlying weakness in the sector off the back of weak domestic demand and a slowdown from key trading partners such as China and Europe.
The decline in outlook comes despite Statistics South Africa data showing the manufacturing sector recovered strongly in the third quarter and expanded by 6.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.
Barclays AFrica says “expectations that the current weak demand environment will not improve significantly over the near-term are likely weighing on manufacturers’ willingness and ability to increase output. In addition, while supply-side constraints (mainly load-shedding) have alleviated somewhat over recent months, the impact of the drought and possible water restrictions is a key risk going forward.”
Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop adds in a note that the BER/Barclays data supports the RMB/BER business confidence indicator for the fourth quarter, which - along with the SA Reserve Bank’s leading indicator - signals gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter of this year will likely be close to stalling.
National Treasury expects SA to come out of 2015 with a 1.5 percent gain in GDP.
Bishop adds, given this background, interest rate hikes this year and next are inappropriate.
Pressure mounts on Kumba Iron Ore as price rout for steel-making ingredient accelerates.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The pressure is mounting on Anglo American’s South African iron-ore unit to make further cutbacks as the rout in prices for the steel-making ingredient accelerates.
Kumba Iron Ore in July axed its dividend for the first time and said it would cut jobs, trim capital expenditure and change mine plans to combat the price slump. Chief Executive Officer Norman Mbazima said at the time that “we might have to look again at our business” if prices fell below $40 a dry ton in the near term.
That threshold is getting nearer, with prices only about 7 percent above that level and at the lowest in data going back more than seven years. Iron ore has slumped as the biggest miners boost low-cost production and demand contracts in China for the first time in a generation, exacerbating oversupplies. The material is now below Kumba’s break-even price, which includes capital expenses, of about $45 a ton.
“You’re going to see some more attempts at cost cutting,” Des Kilalea, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London, said by phone. “I’m not sure where it will come from, but there has to be further scope.”
Nikki Wetzlar, a spokeswoman for the Pretoria-based company, didn’t respond to emails or phone requests for a comment.
Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao slipped 3.4 percent to $42.97 a dry ton on Monday, the lowest in daily data dating back to May 2008, according to Metal Bulletin. The commodity was at about $52 when Kumba announced its cost- cutting efforts on July 21.
The slump has hurt Kumba, which is 70 percent owned by Anglo American, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Kumba shares slid 12 percent in Johannesburg on Monday to near the lowest since the securities were listed in 2006. It’s down 81 percent this year, making it the second-worst performer in the JSE’s broadest gauge of equities. The stock was downgraded to underweight from equal-weight by Barclays analyst James Hutchinson.
The rand’s 20-percent drop against the dollar this year has minimised the pain for Kumba, which gets paid in dollars and incurs expenses in the local currency, according to RBC, which is providing Kumba’s parent Anglo American with non-securities services. Losses were also limited because Kumba produces an ore lump product that has a higher iron content and trades at a premium to normal ore, RBC said.
The slump in Kumba’s shares may be overdone because the outlook for lower earnings has already been priced in, Stephen Meintjes, an analyst at Momentum SP Reid, said by phone. Even so, the company still faces a decision on its costs.
“They’ll be deeply aware of the need to cut current costs,” Meintjes said.
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says Eskom must boost its finances by charging more sustainable tariffs.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Eskom needs to boost its finances by charging more sustainable tariffs for electricity and keeping down its coal costs, said Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who oversees South Africa’s state-owned power utility.
The power company needed a R23 billion ($1.6 billion) bailout from the government this year as its costs spiralled and it struggled to generate enough electricity, forcing managed blackouts almost every other day in the first half of 2015. While it has raised tariffs fourfold in the last 10 years, Eskom needs to charge higher prices to cover its expenses and fund the 237 billion rand it needs in the five years to 2019.
“We are producing electricity at higher costs than what is being charged, that’s one of the issues we need to deal with,” Brown said in an interview following a speech at the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce. “What I support is a more sustainable costing of the tariffs over a longer period.”
Brown declined to say whether she supported prices that fully reflect Eskom’s costs. “If we were to charge what it costs to produce electricity it will just be really, really expensive,” she said. “It’s really over the next 10 years, what would be the most sustainable for Eskom?”
Brown said in a speech to business leaders she was “very pleased” with Eskom currently after the utility went 100 days without having to cut power to consumers. The company’s first-half profit rose 22 percent to R11.3 billion from a year earlier, it said last week.
“Even though we are now in the 112th day without load shedding, we are not out of the woods yet,” Brown said, using the local term for managed power cuts. “We’re okay for what we have, for growth we’re not okay.”
To keep down the cost of coal, Eskom must re-evaluate its supply partners, particularly its so-called “cost plus” mines, Brown said. “It’s something that we need to look at.”
Eskom, which uses coal for 83 percent of its power generation, burned 57 million tons of the fuel in the six months ended September 30. Its primary energy costs, 52 percent of which were for coal, increased 7.7 percent to R41 billion. Local prices for the fuel have declined 43 percent since the start of 2014 to $47 a ton.
President Jacob Zuma urges delegates at COP 21 in Paris to deliver a legally binding agreement which would be fair to developing nations.]]> |||
Paris - President Jacob Zuma on Monday urged delegates at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (COP 21) in Paris to deliver a legally binding agreement which would be fair to developing nations.
“Paris must deliver a legally binding agreement, which is based on equity and differentiation, and which will enable ambitious implementation actions through the provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support from developed countries,” Zuma said.
“Since developing countries already experience climate change impacts, the Paris agreement cannot focus only on mitigation. A global goal for adaptation must be part of the agreement.”
Zuma encouraged conference participants to act in solidarity with developing countries.
He stressed South Africa had completed its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which outlines the country's position “in accordance with our national circumstances and priorities”.
In the INDC, the South African government spells out its position, which includes that, because developed nations are the biggest contributors to global climate change but are not as exposed to its effects as poorer countries, they should play a bigger role in cutting emissions.
“We urge developed countries, given their historical responsibility, to take the lead and honour their existing commitments. In this regard, climate finance must be scaled up significantly beyond the one hundred billion US dollar mark for the post-2020 period,” Zuma said.
“Should the developed nations fail to play their part, an impression will be created that the climate change crisis was caused by a few privileged nations who are not sympathetic about its impact on the majority.”
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY]]>
SA, Mozambique and Sasol will invest $210m to build a new gas pipeline between the African neighbours.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Petrochemicals company Sasol, the Mozambican and South African governments will invest a total of $210 million to build a new gas pipeline by 2017 that will increase the amount of gas shipped from Mozambique to its bigger neighbour.
With the addition of the new line, 212 million gigajoules of gas will be piped from Mozambique to South Africa per year, up from 188 million gigajoules a year now, the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company (ROMPCO) said on Monday.
The new 127km line will run parallel to the existing 865km gas pipeline for only part of the way. The existing line runs from the Temane gas fields to Sasol's Secunda plant in South Africa.
Sasol, which owns 50 percent of ROMPCO, said the natural gas is meant for, among other uses, heating in industries, re-selling to businesses and power generation. Pretoria and Maputo each own 25 percent of ROMPCO through local firms.
Africa's most industrialised economy is facing a shortfall in electricity supply, that earlier this year resulted in frequent power cuts that hurt businesses and deterred investors.
Britain’s top share index gains on Tuesday, buoyed by a rise in the banking sector.]]> |||
London - Britain's top share index rose on Tuesday, reversing the previous session's underperformance, buoyed by a rise in the banking sector after it came through the Bank of England's stress tests unscathed.
Financial stocks added 17 points to a 32.63 point advance for Britain's FTSE, which was up 0.5 percent at 6,388.72 by 08h44 GMT.
Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds were up 1.4-3.0 percent in early deals, all among the top ten risers, after the results of the latest Bank of England tests.
While RBS and Standard Chartered both only passed thanks to steps they took to improve their capital ratios mid-way through the testing process, the other lenders tested did not have to take action.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday there was no new wave of capital regulation for banks in the pipeline, after the central bank set out plans to require them to hold extra capital.
“The banking sector generally seemed buoyed by the fact there were no failures this time around and, combined with a set of commodity stocks lifted by the not-good but not-bad either Chinese manufacturing data, (that) allowed the FTSE to jump,” Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said in a note.
Mining and oil shares rose slightly after a dip in the previous session. Copper and oil prices received support from a drop in the dollar, while China's factories slowed in November, underlining the headwinds facing demand.
The rise in the FTSE 100 saw it outpace euro zone shares, with the Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 percent. That was a reversal of the previous session's move, when weakness in the euro had spurred the Euro STOXX 50 higher.
Among fallers, Babcock dropped to the bottom of the index, down 2.1 percent after a downgrade to “sell” from Citi.
“While Babcock is an excellent operator with solid barriers to entry in a growing market, we currently see too many risks for comfort around its shares' investment case,” analysts at the US bank said in a note.