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Fuel pumps
Ups and downs of the fuel industry
21 May 2019, 9:08 PM

Petrol price hikes do not translate to profit for fuel retailers, they say the increases are a setback to their business with operational implications.

But Petro Connect, a supporter of the fuel industry, says despite the challenges the fuel retail industry is a crucial player in any economy.

The chief complainants when there’s fuel price increase are usually the consumers. But fuel retailers say there are operational costs implications every time there’s an announcement of an increase.

Fuel has increased by more than R2.60 since the beginning of the year.

Despite all this despondency, Petro Connect encourages entrepreneurs to enter the industry saying it is sustainable. But they still warn that it is a business that is not without its set of challenges.

Mark Harper of Petro Connect says, “With the decision to cap fuel increases still under debate, a further increase is on the horizon in June with the introduction of the Carbon Emission tax.”

The Fuel Retailers Association is against government’s proposal to cap the price of 93 octane petrol.

It claims a cap will cut into already thin profit margins and also accelerate job losses in the sector.

Meanwhile, analysts warn that consumers could be plunged into more debt as the cost of living coupled with the unemployment rate continue to climb.

For more watch video below:


US-China tensions affecting global economic growth: report
21 May 2019, 8:55 PM

A United Nations report finds that high trade tensions and policy uncertainty continues to damage the prospects for global economic growth.

In the mid-year update of its World Economic Situation and Prospects Report first released in January this year, the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs forecasts as global growth slowdown to 2.7% in 2019, down from 3% growth experienced in 2018.

The unresolved trade tensions – most notably between the United States and China;  high international policy uncertainty and a softening of business confidence is all leading to the global slowdown as the Assistant Secretary General for the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Elliot Harris explains.

“The overarching message is that the unresolved trade tensions that we’ve experienced and the high international policy uncertainty continue to damage the prospects for economic growth going forward. Since the release of the WESP in January of 2019, the growth forecasts for 2019 have been downgraded in most developed economies and in several developing regions, particularly in southern Africa, in Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Increased geo-political uncertainty, waning stimulus measures in the developed world and weather-related shocks like the Cyclones to hit southern Africa are also having a negative impact. Dawn Holland – an Economist and the Chief of Global Economic Monitoring in DESA says

“The slowdown in growth that we’ve seen also reflects factors such as the waning effects of fiscal stimulus measures in the United States, some disruption in the automobile sector in Europe and also factors such as power shortages in South Africa and oil production cuts by OPEC and other oil producers. In aggregate, we are forecasting that economic growth this year will slow to 2.7% compared to growth of 3% that we saw last year.”

The downturn is most concerning to Sustainable Development prospects, particularly the 2030 agenda and highlights an urgent need to strengthen multilateralism and addressing the gaps in development financing. The report calls for more well-targeted policy responses, improving national fiscal management and for countries to increasingly look beyond GDP growth and identify new measures of economic performance that reflects the costs of inequality, of insecurity and of climate change. Elliot Harris explains further.

“In light of severe environment degradation, a swift and radical transition away from fossil fuels is absolutely imperative. This will require a fundamental change in economic decision-making and in private consumption behaviour. To accelerate this process governments have several policy options – one crucial instrument in this regard is carbon pricing. The objective behind carbon pricing is to fix a fundamental flaw in the current economic system namely that the emitters of greenhouse gases currently do not have to consider the wider costs of emissions. By contract, by putting a price on carbon dioxide, we would make producers and consumers internalise these negative consequences.”

The report also points to deep structural weakness in several large developing countries like South Africa that are struggling to recover from recessions or remain trapped on a low growth path.

Gauteng Education online platform receives over 280 000 applications
21 May 2019, 8:35 PM

Frustrated parents have been making their way to the Gauteng Department of Education head offices in Johannesburg.

With over 280 000 online applications received, it has not been smooth sailing for all of those applying for grade one and eight public schools for the year 2020.

It’s that time of the year for Gauteng parents looking to get their children places in the province’s public schools.

For more watch video below:

Muzi Sikhakhane
State says delays in Zuma case not their doing
21 May 2019, 6:55 PM

Prosecutor  Andrew Breytenbach  has told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that part of the reason for the delay in the corruption case against former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales, was a request by Zuma’s legal team for documents in the State’s possession. The State has started making arguments in it’s response to Zuma and Thales’ application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Breytenbach says before the State could hand over the documents that were requested, it had to consider whether they were not privileged.

He says this was followed by a very long responding affidavit by Zuma’s lawyers which the state had to carefully consider.

Listen to Breytenbach below:

Meanwhile, Political commentator, William Mpofu from the University of Witwatersrand has called for the interests of society to also be considered in the corruption case against former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales. The legal teams of Zuma and Thales are applying for a permanent stay of prosecution on charges of corruption and racketeering in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The case stems from the multi-billion rands arms deal in 1999.

Mpofu says the public deserves to hear the truth.

“Ethically, we are now speaking in moral terms, there is a mass of people out there that have a vested interest, that need to be told the truth, to understand what happened and find closure in this intersection of these three powerful provinces. So it’s important to think about the powerless.”


Flu vaccine
City of Cape Town urges residents to get flu vaccine
21 May 2019, 4:59 PM

The City of Cape Town is encouraging residents to get the flu vaccine at clinics so that they have extra protection against the virus.

This year, 14 500 vaccinations are available at City facilities with an additional 26 500 available via facilities operated by the Western Cape Government’s Health Department.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien says preference will be given to vulnerable groups like expectant women and people living with HIV.

“We are all susceptible to flu, which is why it is so important to get vaccinated. The vaccine which protects against most flu viruses is safe and the best time to get vaccinated is before the start of winter. The sooner those in vulnerable groups approach their local clinic to get vaccinated, the better.”



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