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South Africa crush Italy 35-6
25 November 2017, 6:24 PM

South Africa crushed Italy 35-6 in cold, wet and sombre conditions in Padua on Saturday, to avenge last year’s historic defeat by the Azzurri.

Five tries from Francois Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Francois Venter, Steven Kitshoff and Franco Mostert sealed a comfortable victory.

Man of the match Handre Pollard converted four tries and replacement Elton Jantjies added the fifth conversion.

The Springboks, who will play Wales next weekend, beat France 18-17 last week after falling 38-3 to Ireland on November 11.

Fly-half Carlo Canna kicked two penalties for Italy, missing a chance for a third in slippery conditions just before the break.

South Africa’s coach Allister Coetzee has rebuilt his side since last November’s 20-18 defeat to Italy with just five players from that fateful day in Florence this time out.

The Springboks proved solid despite the testing conditions in north-eastern Italy building on a comfortable 21-6 lead at the break.

It is the second straight defeat for Italy after losing 31-15 to Argentina in Florence last weekend.

The Italians had ended a series of nine consecutive losses going back to their win over South Africa by winning their opening November Test against Fiji 19-10 in Sicily.

ANC questions killings of leaders in KZN
23 November 2017, 9:01 PM

Could the latest killings in KwaZulu-Natal be part of a bigger plot to eliminate delegates to the upcoming Elective Conference? That’s the question the ANC is asking itself after a second party leader was gunned down at his home in Howick, outside Pietermaritzburg on Thursday morning.

Sithembiso Mhlongo was the African National Congress Youth League’s (ANCYL) Deputy Secretary in the Moses Mabhida region and a PR councillor at the Umngeni Local Municipality.

The National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says they are bringing back Operation Fiela to deal with the killings.

Sithembiso Mhlongo had conducted an interview with the SABC just three days ago. He was at the scene where a fellow ANC leader had been ambushed and killed.

Mhlongo had condemned the attack and called for peace. But just days later he met the same fate.

It’s believed unknown men posing as police officers knocked at his home. He was shot after opening for the men.

Mhlongo was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Family spokesperson Sipho Mhlongo says, “What concerns us most is that these people pretending to be police officers, the very people we must trust and when he went to open, they fired at him.”

Mhlongo, also a Branch Secretary, had been nominated as a delegate to the upcoming ANC conference.

He is now the second delegate in the region to be killed in three days and the ANC is worried.

KZN ANC Spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli says, “It does worry us a lot because both of them were delegates chosen democratically by their respective branches. We really hope that it is not going to create an impression and a sense of panic and fear among our delegates that probably there may be a target because the death of a second delegate in a row does create an environment that is quite problematic and a feeling that it may be an agenda that is intended to destabilise the ANC. When I heard about it I had the same feeling I had when we were preparing for local government elections where there was a targeted approach to kill our councillor candidates.”

The 34-year-old has been described by the Youth league as a dedicated and humble leader.

The league says there now needs to be a different approach to curb these killings.

KZN ANCYL Chairperson Kwazi Mshengu says, “We will be calling on the ANC and government that we look into this in a different way. There needs to be dedicated police deployed to these hot spot areas because our communities are now living in fear justifiably so.”

A Provincial Organised Crime team unit is investigating.

 

Saftu gives feedback after its executive meeting
23 November 2017, 7:41 PM

The South African Federation Trade Union (Saftu) says it is confident that it will reach 1 million members by next week.

The newly-formed federation held its third national executive committee meeting In November. It says 24 affiliated unions under its leadership have reported that they are growing despite the job losses in the economy.

Saftu says it has also added three more unions in the past few months.

General Secretary of Saftu, Zwelinzima Vavi, says they are on course to grow 300 000 members and reach 1 million members by December.

“And since May, we have been working hard that every unions that develops strategies to grow, to be relevant, to be responsive and to be involved with issues workers are raising every day. And it is precisely because of that, (that) the unions came to this meeting and said we are all growing and we will be consolidating that on December 5 where we will be verifying all the members. But by January, all unions are required by the policy of the federation to update their membership.”

The federation says it will also intensify its battle against corruption. It is preparing documents to launch a High Court action against the Hawks, Saps and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to force them to do their job.

The federation says it has not received any response from Saps, Eskom and Transnet in regards to the charges they laid against them.

In October, the federation laid criminal charges against executives of Trillian, Eskom and Transnet.

Saftu says they received a response from the NPA claiming to be investigating the Public Protectors State Capture report since March 2017.

“We will not announce the day, but it will happen anytime between today and any day over the next few days. We will be in court and in the court we will ask the court to enforce the Hawks, Saps and the NPA to do the job that they have been prescribed by law. We have given them every bit of evidence they need and for them to act upon and so far they are refusing to do so.”

Saftu says it will embark on a series of protest actions in 2018 against government.

“The NEC has decided that the Saftu NEC to be held on the 20th February 2018 will decide the date for the general strike. In the meantime, we will continue with small scale mobilisation and protest actions as a warm up to mass demonstrations and strikes in 2018. These will include demonstrations outside Parliament on the days of State of the National and Budget speeches, the Esidimeni scandals, Eskom tariff increases and exploitation of labour brokers.”

The federation says the cost of providing free technical and vocational training could be funded from the R100 billion surpluses accumulated by the unemployment Insurance Fund. Despite being against the coup in Zimbabwe -Saftu has announced that it is in unison with the people of Zimbabwe as they celebrate a new hope for their country.

Fitch affirms South Africa at ‘BB+’; Outlook stable
23 November 2017, 7:25 PM

Ratings firm Fitch has kept both South Africa’s local and foreign currency credit ratings unchanged, one notch below investment grade, with a stable outlook.

Fitch says the affirmation reflects a number of developments point to a weaker fiscal outlook and consequent faster pace of debt accumulation.

Fitch also says potential fiscal consolidation measures after the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in December, could mitigate those trends.

Since April, when Fitch downgraded the country to ‘junk status’, the country has seen a recession, borrowing costs have increased, and revenue has under performed.

Government has noted Fitch’s decision not to further downgrade SA deeper into ‘junk status’.

Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings are due to announce their decisions on Friday.

Western Cape tables its Medium-Term Budget
23 November 2017, 7:17 PM

The province of the Western Cape says it’s planning for a 10% shortfall in its annual budget as a result of the R50 billion tax under collection announced by SA Revenue Service (SARS) earlier in November.

Western Cape Minister of Finance Dr Ivan Meyer announced his Medium-Term Budget on Thursday with a lowered forecast of 0.5% in GDP growth. This is lower than the national forecast of 0.7%.

The province of the Western Cape, says while its growth will fall below the national average of 2017, it’s predicted to recover by 1% in 2018. Meyer says his government has clear plans to grow the economy of the province.

“Seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in the African continent, to have a 5, 6% growth that is happening in these economies, also in China India, our important part is to integrate our economy with the African economy, if we do that we can generate 1% growth, we have relations with East Africa, we are exporting more and more of our products into the rest of the continent”.

New demands to the fiscus have emerged, brought about by the drought, water security and the impact of the Avian Flu which has led to the culling of about 3 million birds in the commercial poultry sector and their eggs.

Meyer says over R300 million has been set aside over the next three years to mitigate the current drought in the province, with a further R75 million allocated for the emergency funding following the devastating fires.

“R365 million this year and over the next two years, the last thing you want to see is a hospital and a school running out of water, we are busy with plans to drill boreholes at specific hospitals and clinics.”

The African National Congress (ANC) Finance spokesperson in the legislature, Carol Brerwinkel says they want more involvement as opposition parties, in budgeting.

“Same old, same old. It’s just the boreholes and the drought and there’s no initiative as to something innovative that can really work. The drought is upon us and we still don’t know where these boreholes are going to be built, whether they are going to work. All the time we have the same rhetoric, but my biggest concern is that the sooner we get this bill going that says we are allowed to amend money bill, the sooner we will have inputs in these amendments that just get put in front of us and we have to accept it.”

The province says the army may be deployed in about a month’s time in crime hot spot areas, and to escort medical emergency vehicles on the Cape Flats. This, after several attacks on personnel who have to respond to emergency calls.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) supported the budget although with reservations saying the province had been warned ten years ago about the coming drought, and did nothing.

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