Index points to stagnation

Stagnation was widespread last month, BankservAfrica’s economic transactions index showed yesterday, and Mike Schüssler, the chief economist at, said the economy appeared to be “falling asleep at the wheel”. He added: “Broadly speaking, the economy has been in a slow growth or stagnating mode for about 18 months and is at best continuing along this path.” Economic transactions in March increased by 0.8 percent from a year earlier, after adjusting for inflation. – Sapa


Farmers refuse to fund reform

Farmers were unwilling to finance half of land reform on farms because it was unjust and unfair, farmers body TAU SA said yesterday. It opposed government proposals that would result in farmers “losing, in effect, 50 percent of their farms”. On Sunday, Rapport newspaper reported that, according to a proposal under consideration, commercial farmworkers could own half of the farms on which they worked. – Sapa


Chances slim of finding work

Employed South Africans were highly likely to stay in their jobs, while the unemployed would find it increasingly hard to find work, statistician-general Pali Lehohla said yesterday. “In South Africa 93 percent of those employed… remain in employment,” Lehohla said, releasing the latest labour market dynamics report. Among the 4.7 million unemployed, only 13 percent found jobs, he said. – Sapa


Banana disease moves to Africa

A disease that damaged banana crops in south-east Asia has spread to Africa, posing a risk to world supplies of the most-traded fruit, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The TR4 strain of Panama disease is deadly for the Cavendish banana. An FAO agricultural officer said TR4 had been discovered in Mozambique. “This is serious for the medium term, but at the same time we should avoid panicking,” he said. – Bloomberg