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SARB keeps interest rate at 6.5 percent
21 November 2019, 3:28 PM

The Reserve Bank has left the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent.

On Wednesday, some economists said there was room for the Reserve Bank to lower the repo rate because inflation is at its lowest rate in eight years.

Statistics South Africa also announced on Wednesday that the headline consumer price index fell to 3.7  per cent in October, down from 4.1 per cent the month before.

In September, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent following a 25 basis points cut.

Watch South African Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago’s MPC decision announcement below:

ACDP calls for Bongo to stepdown
21 November 2019, 2:28 PM

ACDP Chief Whip Steve Swart has called for Parliament’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee chairperson Bongani Bongo to step down,  pending the outcome of his corruption case.

The Hawks arrested Bongo on allegations that he tried to bribe then evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara to frustrate the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom.

Swart says while Bongo should be considered innocent until proved guilty, it would be in the best interest of Parliament for him to step down.

“It would seem wise that he should stand down from that position, given the allegations that are against him. We saw that in the past with of the Bosasa allegations against Mr. Vincent Smith. He then stood down from the committee that was dealing with the Section 25 of the land issue. So we think there is a precedent to stand down, pending the outcome of both is criminal actions and of course possible continuation of misconduct hearings in the ethics committee.”

Meanwhile, Parliament says National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise will meet MP, Bongo, regarding his arrest.

Bongo, who chairs Parliament’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, was released on bail of five-thousand-rand by the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning.

He is accused of trying to bribe Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the then evidence leader in a Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom to disrupt the work of the commission.

Modise’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says the Speaker will be kept informed regarding the case.

“There will be an interaction between the speaker and the member… The institution can continue to monitor it.”

Expectations of rate cuts ahead of MPC meeting
21 November 2019, 1:53 PM

Some economists say there’s room for the Reserve Bank to lower the repo rate shortly.

They say this is because inflation is at its lowest in eight years.

On Wednesday, Statistics South Africa announced that the headline consumer price index fell to 3.7 per cent in October, down from 4.1 per cent the month before.

In September, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent following a 25 basis points cut.

The South African Reserve Bank’s policy committee is meeting on Thursday for the last time in 2019.

SA govt urges patience during foot and mouth outbreak
20 November 2019, 2:54 PM

The Agriculture Department has pleaded with auctioneers, meat producers and livestock commercial farmers for patience, as government tries to contain the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Departmental Director-General Mike Mlengana addressed industry roleplayers in Bela-Bela, Limpopo.

Mlengana says the auction of cattle in four provinces can only resume once the foot and mouth outbreak has been contained.

“Until we track where its origin come from we cannot give a definite timeline but I said to them they must give us three weeks to almost a month, perhaps at that time we will have information that will allow them either to trade or at least to be up to date as to what is going on.”

Meanwhile, farmers are concerned about the loss of income.

“We farmers we are suffering. We have to go and plough depending on this livestock, so for us to plough we have to sell the livestock, so we must buy diesel, the seed, the fertilisers, where will we get money. The only source for us to get money is through auctions.”

 

 

North West Fire
Lack of proper firefighting equipment blamed for extensive damage to Mahikeng complex
18 November 2019, 4:00 PM

The extent of damage due to the fire which ravaged part of a shopping complex in Mahikeng Monday morning could have been reduced had adequate resources been provided to firefighters. This is according to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) which maintains that their members are exposed to dangers of fire due to poor resources.

The fire station in Mahikeng under the district municipality of Ngaka Modiri Molema had to fight the raging fire on shops along the Station Road with dysfunctional resources.

A water pump fitted to the main truck could not suck the water out due to the failure of a generator. Back up trucks were then summoned from neighbouring local municipalities of Ditsobotla and Ratlou which took some time to arrive.

It is believed the fire broke in one of the shops and extended to other shops.

Samwu’s provincial chairperson Joe Qelesile says, more could have been done to contain the fire.

“Our members, the workers arrived here on time. The problem is that the equipment that they are using has got problems. It does not have power to pump water and they struggled also with the fire hydrants because the nearby fire hydrants do not have water. They have been damaged by members of the community,” says Qelesile.

WATCH | Shops looted, some on fire


Some of the customers were concerned about lay-bye agreements they have signed with some of the clothing outlets as they prepare for the festive season. At least eight shops have been gutted. They include furniture and clothing outlets.

The exact cause of the fire is still not known at this stage – but an electrical fault is suspected.

However, Jacob Mmane a store manager in one of the shops says they only started operating a few weeks ago. Mmane says they have hoped to make good sales this festive.

While the firefighters were trying to stop the blaze, some residents attempted to loot some of the shops with police having their hands full to stop the people.

The Mahikeng Local Municipality has meantime established a task team that will assist the police authorities with the investigations.

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