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Chippa hold Sundowns to goalless draw
25 November 2017, 8:10 PM

Chippa United proved how difficult they are to beat at home as Mamelodi Sundowns were lucky to get away with a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership match played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Sundowns, fresh off a midweek 2-0 win over league champions Bidvest Wits, found themselves involved in a physical encounter with free-scoring Percy Tau spending much time on the ground in being well marked by Chippa central defender Zithe Macheke.

Macheke’s fellow defender Mpho Mvelase could well have put the host ahead early on but fluffed his effort wide of the Sundowns goal.

Mvelase has been a relegation in the Chippa rearguard since arriving from Orlando Pirates, just as Macheke looks to have taken his game to a new level after his loan spell with Thanda Royal Zulu.

Sundowns’ Zimbabwean midfield kingpin Khama Billiat also had a tough afternoon, in being closely marked and was not able to unleash his usual high-quality supply to the front men.

Daniel Akpeyi, Chippa’s classy Nigerian goalkeeper, took a few knocks in the game as Sundowns pushed for the deciding goal, and eventually had to be replaced, with former Orlando Pirates goal-minder Brighton Mhlongo taking over the gloves.

Chippa, who have now lost only one of their last nine league games (of which seven have been drawn), progressed to 16 points from 12 outings and will host Kaiser Chiefs in their next league fixture on December 6.

Sundowns, who now have 16 points from 9 games, will be in league action at home against log-leaders Baroka FC on December 5.

ANC NEC visits North West branches
25 November 2017, 6:10 PM

A high level delegation from Luthuli House is in the North West addressing outstanding disputes ahead of the deadline for branches to have held their meetings.

There are allegations of a recent fight at a branch in Madibeng, which resulted in the loss of an unborn baby.

Branches in the Bojanala region appeared before the dispute resolution committee on Saturday.

The Provincial Executive Committee says 95 % of the branches have held their Branch General Meetings (BGM).

Last-minute interventions by the party’s National Executive Committee, they have been in the province for the last two weeks.

African National Congress (ANC) NEC member David Mahlobo says: “Tomorrow is the final cut-off date and then those remaining branches if there are issues of disputes that are being raised, we will find a mechanism to conclude them before we go to the national executive committee meeting that is scheduled for next week.”

But some branch meetings have left victims in their wake with Aobakwe Sekwamaje, suffering a miscarriage.

She was assaulted at a branch meeting at Mothutlung near Brits.

“We didn’t finalise anything at the BGM because the chairperson was not there and many people were not there, they wanted the secretary to chair the meeting, so like that’s where the fight started.”

The matter is being investigated by the police.

Brits SAPS spokesperson Mpeile Tlalane says: “We do have a case of assault pertaining to a meeting that has happened or took place in Mothutlung hall on the 15th of this month. At this particular moment we are busy with the information as we have established an investigation.”

 The ANC in the province has distanced itself from those assaulting people in the name of the party.

The dispute resolution committee will on Sunday listen to disputes from the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda region.

Rating downgrades will have catastrophic impact on SA: BASA
25 November 2017, 6:00 PM

The decision by rating agency S&P Global to downgrade South Africa’s long-term local currently rating and the long-term foreign currency debt has serious consequences for the poorest of the poor, with a catastrophic impact on the country’s economic prospects, the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) said on Saturday.

“While S&P did move South Africa from negative watch to stable, the agency noted that economic policy in our country is currently focused on redistribution and not growth, which has caused it to stagnate,” BASA MD Cas Coovadia said.

“Fiscal policy needed to be adjusted to make the hard decisions that drove competitiveness and growth. Political meddling in our institutions and continued bailouts of non-performing SoEs [state-owned enterprises] is wreaking havoc on our economy,” he said.

The country needed a clear, stable, and certain policy to generate economic growth. “We repeat our call that it is imperative that the ANC emerge from its elective conference (in December) with a new leadership that grasps this urgency and is committed to placing our economy on a path of growth, competitiveness, and inclusiveness.

“Anything else will accelerate the downward spiral of declining confidence, reduced investment, slower growth, weaker public finances, and greater inequality. We can no longer afford to do nothing,” Coovadia said.

On Friday, S&P lowered South Africa’s long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings by one notch each to “BB” and “BB+” respectively, citing weak real nominal GDP growth that had led to further deterioration of South Africa’s public finances beyond the rating agency’s previous expectations.

Nonetheless, S&P changed the outlook to stable from negative, saying the stable outlook reflected their view that South Africa’s credit metrics would remain broadly unchanged next year, and political distraction could abate following the African National Congress’s elective conference in December, helping government focus on designing and implementing measures to improve economic growth and stabilise public finances.

Also on Friday, Moody’s Investors Service placed South Africa’s long-term foreign and local currency debt ratings of “Baa3” on a 90-day review for a downgrade. The ratings carried a negative outlook.

According to Moody’s, the decision to place South Africa’s rating on review for a downgrade was prompted by a series of recent developments which suggested that South Africa’s economic and fiscal problems were more pronounced than Moody’s had previously assumed.

According to the rating agency, growth prospects were weaker and material budgetary revenue shortfalls had emerged alongside increased spending pressures.

Moody’s further indicated that the review would allow it to assess the South African authorities’ willingness and ability to respond to the above rising pressures through growth-supportive fiscal adjustments that raised revenues and contained spending; structural economic reforms that eased domestic bottlenecks to growth; and improvements to SoE governance in light of government exposures to contingent liabilities.

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Ramaphosa remembers King Sabatha Dalindyebo
25 November 2017, 4:38 PM

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has laid wreaths on Abathembu King Sabatha Dalindyebo’s grave at Bumbane Great Place outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

King Sabatha was an outspoken opponent of the Transkei homeland and was deposed by the apartheid authorities in 1980.

He went to live in exile in Zambia, where he died in 1986. Ramaphosa says he feels honoured to visit the kingdom of AbaTembu.

“The great honour for me was to get to see where his grave was, one of the Kings of the Thembus who donated 100 cows at the time of the formation of the ANC.”

“So in a number of ways this is the home of the ANC and I have been honoured by the King and other traditional leaders who are here, I am deeply honoured and I am pleased to have come to meet the king here at the palace of the Thembu Nation.”

Meanwhile, acting king, Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo has thanked Ramaphosa and endorsed Ramaphosa to take over as the ANC president after the party’s December Conference.

“We grant him the most favourable opportunity to take over South Africa , we thank his visit very much and we do believe that the 8 of January he will be the President, he will be the President of this country.”

SA to outline “decisive” policy in 2018 after debt rating cut
25 November 2017, 3:29 PM

South Africa will use its annual budget next year to outline “decisive” policy to strengthen its fiscal framework, the finance ministry said on Saturday after S&P Global Ratings cut its local currency debt to “junk” status.

S&P announced the downgrade on Friday, citing a further deterioration in the country’s economic outlook and public finances.

Moody’s, meanwhile, placed South Africa on review for a downgrade.

“The 2018 Budget will outline decisive and specific policy measures to strengthen the fiscal framework,” the finance ministry said in a statement, without giving more detail.

The downgrade by S&P comes after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba shocked markets on Oct. 25 by flagging sharply weaker growth expectations, a wider budget deficit and rising government debt.

The government has since appointed a judicial commission of inquiry into the causes of a R50 billion ($3.6 billion) revenue shortfall and to investigate possible erosion into the nation’s revenue collection capability.

Economic growth has slowed to near zero in recent years and business and consumer sentiment have plumbed multi-decade lows as political uncertainty weighs on the economy.

Infighting within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a conference in December to elect a successor to President Jacob Zuma as party chief has also sapped investor confidence.

“Restoring business and consumer confidence, and catalysing inclusive growth are the top priority of government,” the finance ministry said.

South African businesses have been in talks with government more than a year to try to avoid credit ratings downgrades, but when President Zuma in March replaced finance minister Pravin Gordhan with Gigaba, S&P and Fitch cut its ratings a notch within a week.

Nedbank, one of the nation’s largest lenders, on Saturday warned that the latest move by S&P will make it more expensive for government and the private sector to raise funding.

“The February budget statement is South Africa’s last chance to demonstrate the structural reforms and fiscal consolidation that are required to improve economic growth prospects and prevent Moody’s from also downgrading the local currency debt to below investment grade,” Chief Executive Mike Brown said.

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