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Tshepiso Moche
AG concerned about municipalities not following recommendations
26 June 2019, 12:33 PM

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu says there is a growing trend of municipalities that are not following recommendations from the audit office, but has indicated that they now have the power to issue binding recommendations.

He was speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria – on the local government audits of 257 municipalities for the 2017/18 financial year.

The Auditor-General’s last report indicated that R80 billion in irregular expenditure; was incurred over the past financial year.

Makwetu says they have seen deteriorating audit results in many respects.

“The recommendation that comes out of an audit that shows that there has been significant breakdowns in the system of internal control to the extent that financial losses continue; is no longer just going to be a loose arrangement.”

Makwetu adds: “It will become a recommendation for a period of time, agreed with the auditee. When that time expires, the law requires us to then treat that recommendation as a binding remedial action. If that is not auctioned, we will then have to trigger a process to determine whether we should not issue a certificate of debt.”

VW, FCA could face 2021 EU emissions fines: study
26 June 2019, 12:10 PM

Volkswagen and FiatChrysler could face penalties of up to 1.83 billion euros (1.64 billion pounds) and 746 million euros respectively, if they fail to meet the European Union’s emissions targets set for 2021, according to AlixPartners.

The study by the consulting firm, which was published on Wednesday, shows how hard it is for carmakers to meet European rules for cutting average fleet emissions for passenger cars to 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre by 2021.

AlixPartners forecast the size of potential penalties based on the vehicle emissions levels reported by carmakers at the end of 2017. Since then, major carmakers have reduced carbon dioxide emissions through higher sales of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Volkswagen said it plans to comply with the European rules while FiatChrysler has said it will pursue the cheapest option for complying with the rules, a step which may include paying fines.

Volvo and Toyota are the only major carmaking groups which do not face penalties, and could sell their surplus emission credits to other carmakers, the study showed.

Volkswagen Group, faces the biggest fine because it is Europe’s biggest carmaker by market share. To meet European Union emissions rules it plans to mass produce electric cars in 2020.

“If you build heavier cars and have a large market share of diesels you have some homework to do if you want to mitigate possible penalties,” said Elmar Kades, Managing Director at AlixPartners.

“Customers are switching to petrol and this needs to be compensated with electrification and or hybridization.”

In its Global Automotive Outlook study, AlixPartners said that car sales will stagnate or decline in the next three years, hitting the margins of suppliers and carmakers, particularly those balancing sales of electric and combustion engine cars.

Designing and building both combustion engine and fully electric cars simultaneously costs automakers $2.3 billion per platform per year, the study said.

“One of the most dramatic developments is that demand is stagnant or falling, while investments are at an all time high. To counter margin deterioration we see comprehensive cost cutting measures across the board,” Kades said.

Congolese refugees arrive in Uganda
26 June 2019, 11:12 AM

At least 7 500 Congolese refugees have arrived in Uganda since the start of this month, placing strain on already badly overstretched facilities, according to the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR says renewed clashes between opposing Hema and Lendu groups in north-eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are driving people across the border into Uganda at a rate of 311 a day, more than double the rate of refugee arrivals in May – 145 per day.

Armed groups are said to be attacking villages, torching and looting houses, and killing men, women and children.

Most people are fleeing to Uganda via Lake Albert from Ituri province, where displacements since early this month are now estimated at 300 000.

In Uganda, transit and reception facilities are overwhelmed.

UNHCR says the agency has only received US$150 million, 17% of the total US$927 million needed.

Benin hit back to draw with Ghana after bizarre red card
26 June 2019, 10:23 AM

Underdogs Benin hit back to secure a 2-2 draw with 10-man Ghana after the Black Stars had a player sent off for time-wasting in bizarre circumstances at the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

Michael Pote gave Benin a shock second-minute lead in the Group F match before goals from brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew put Ghana 2-1 ahead at halftime of an entertaining, end-to-end contest.

Bu,t Ghana were stunned in the 55th minute when defender John Boye, already booked, stepped up to take a free kick inside his own half, moved away to let goalkeeper Richard Ofori take it and was given a second yellow card.

 

It seemed no more than a misunderstanding, was extremely harsh and was also the first sending-off of the tournament.

Pote then equalised for Benin with his second of the night in the 64th minute.

Benin, taking part in the tournament for the fourth time, had lost eight and drawn one of their nine previous games at the finals but more than held their own against the four-times champions.

The Squirrels were in front after two minutes, Pote racing onto a ball threaded through from midfield before slipping past his marker and firing his shot under Ofori.

Ghana replied with a goal from their first attack seven minutes later. Jordan Ayew ran onto a pass over the top and laid the ball off to his brother Andre who made space before firing a snapshot into the net.

Ghana, looking more dangerous, went ahead three minutes before halftime. Kasim Adams picked out Jordan Ayew from the halfway line and the younger of the two brothers slipped passed Olivier Verdon and fired into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

At that point, the game seemed to be up for Benin, but Boye’s dismissal changed the complexion of the game, prompting Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah to bring off Samuel Owusu – himself a first-half substitute for the injured Thomas Agyepong – and bring on Jonathan Mensah.

Benin’s equaliser came from a short corner as Pote diverted Cebio Soukou’s low cross into the net.

Both teams continued to look for the winner and Thomas Partey was close for Ghana with a ferocious 25-metre free kick which Fabien Farnolle did well to push away.

Benin could also have snatched it in injury time as Jodel Dossou’s cross from the right picked out Steve Mounie, but he sent his header over the bar.

Following the opening round of games, Cameroon top the group with three points following their 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau earlier on Tuesday.

ANC urged to listen to opposition parties
26 June 2019, 9:27 AM

Political Analyst Levy Ndou says the success of the current ANC leadership will be determined by its implementation of its resolutions taken at Nasrec.

Ndou was speaking on Morning Live, following Tuesday’s post SONA debate in Parliament.

He says he was impressed to see opposition MPs not only criticising the ruling party, but also providing tangible solutions on how to fast-track the implementation of certain policies.

On Tuesday, Members of Parliament debated President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) staged a walk out in the National Assembly just before Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan began speaking.

 

The red berets have previously accused President Ramaphosa of undermining Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane following her finds against Minister Gordhan.

 

Mkhwebane found Gordhan guilty of improper conduct after he granted an early retirement pay out for former South African Revenue Service (SARS) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

 

EFF leader Julius Malema labelled Gordhan a ‘constitutional delinquent’ and demanded he not be allowed to speak.

 

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane told Ramaphosa to stop thinking about building new cities, but to rather improve the current urban centres which are faced by challenges.

Maimane has also urged Ramaphosa to tackle challenges faced by Prasa and to improve the train service in the country.

 

President Ramaphosa will respond to the SONA debate on Wednesday afternoon.

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