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Record number of voting applications received in foreign missions
14 March 2019, 12:42 PM

A total of 30 532 voters have applied to cast their votes in the national elections at one of South Africa’s 121 foreign missions, the Electoral Commission announced on Thursday.

The applications were received by Wednesday’s deadline, to vote abroad by submitting a VEC 10 form, and of these 29 334 were approved.

In 2014, the Electoral Commission received 27 899 applications to vote outside the country of which 26 716 were approved and a total of 18 446 actually voted in the election.

Voters whose applications have been approved will vote at the foreign mission indicated on Saturday 27 April 2019 between 07H00 and 19H00.

They are required to present their South African ID document (either a green barcoded ID, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate) and their valid passport.


The breakdown of approved applications per region is as follows:

Region Total approved applications
Africa 2 868
Asia 7 174
Europe 14 838
North America 2 196
Oceania 2 133
South America 125
Total 29 334


The top 10 foreign missions with the most applications are:

Mission Approved applicants
London 9 084
Dubai 1 542
The Hague 1 355
Canberra 1 195
Abu Dhabi 1 061
Wellington 927
Dublin 817
Kinshasa 797
New York 605
Doha 566


Five of SA’s wealthiest cracks Forbes richest list
6 March 2019, 1:35 PM

Billionaires as a whole may have lost a bit of their reach and wealth in 2018, but the heavy hitters are still on top, according to Forbes Magazine, which released its 33rd annual World Billionaires List Tuesday.

The drop-off is of a piece with how the world’s richest are being viewed, Forbes Magazine Assistant Magazine Editor, Luisa Kroll, told Reuters in an interview.

“I definitely think that we are in a bad moment for the very rich. For the first time, I’ve been tracking the wealthiest for way too long and really for the first time this year we’ve seen a real animosity. There’s always been kind of a voyeuristic mentality in people joking, ‘Oh if I only had a billion, I’d be on the list.’ But you see a vehemence against these people because of the wealth inequality that we see in the world,” said Kroll.

With a net worth pegged by Forbes at $131 million, Jeff Bezos topped the list for the second year in a row. But he’s been as much in the headlines of late for his saber rattling with the National Enquirer, marital woes and Amazon’s balk in placing its HQ2 in New York as for his wealth.

“His wife MacKenzie, soon to be ex-wife, actually drove cross-country with him when he went to start the company. She was an early accountant at Amazon and given the laws in Washington state, she could end up with half of his stake in Amazon,”

The next two spots were occupied again by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Gates saw his net worth increase by $6.5 billion to reach $96.5 billion, thanks to the success of Microsoft stock. The Oracle of Omaha saw his net worth fall to $82.5 billion, down by $1.5 billion from last year.

But at this stage of their careers, neither men are known simply for their business acumen.They “are basically putting their money into potentially for-profit businesses but ones that are going to do good for the world. It’s nobel, and I think they’re all behind it. And quite frankly these people don’t really care if they make a billion dollars or a million,” Kroll said.

And reality TV star and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner is now the youngest self-made billionaire in the United States ever according to Forbes magazine.

Jenner, aged 21, launched Kylie Cosmetics’ in 2016 which the magazine said is now worth at least $900 million (USD), of which she owns all of it. Forbes estimates her wealth at $1 billion.

Her standing is shaking up the list, Kroll said.

“There’s going to be a lot of debate about what she’s self-made or was she not,” Kroll told Reuters. “She definitely was able to leverage her family’s fame and her personal fame. And she basically started making makeup and sold it through her Instagram account and through online. And sales took off.”

Also of note was the rising presence of 44 Chinese billionaires, the most of any country.

“I think the Chinese moment is a story that we’re going to be talking about for some years to come,” Kroll said.

Donald Trump has famously monitored his standing in the world’s billionaire’s club, and he stayed at the same $3.1 billion as last year.

“He kind of stayed flat but was able to increase his position,” Kroll said. “What’s interesting is that within that some assets did much better than others and some of the assets that did very well are ones that he has nothing to do with.”

Rand notes
SA Economy moving into positive territory – Stats SA
5 March 2019, 1:10 PM

According to Stats SA, the South African economy grew by 1,4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 contributing to an overall growth rate of 0,8% for the entire year.

The latest set of gross domestic product (GDP) figures, released by Stats SA on Tuesday, provides an overview of economic performance in 2018.

In 2018 the country found itself in an economic recession, the second since 1994. “The 2018 recession spanned the first two quarters of the year, with the economy shrinking by 2,7% in the first quarter and contracting further by 0,5% in the second,” reported Stats SA.

Furthermore, the release states that, “Despite the recession, positive growth in the third (2,6%) and the fourth (1,4%) quarters was just enough to push overall growth for the year into positive territory, with the real annual growth rate coming in at 0,8%.”



Increase in municipal rates angers residents
4 March 2019, 12:21 PM

Atteridgeville, an area west of Pretoria, has been rendered on edge as the community protested against an increase in municipal rates, on Monday morning.

Roads leading to the township were barricaded with burning tyres.

It is also reported that trains were also not running in the area.

Tshwane Metro police have been monitoring the situation closely.

Opportunity of a lifetime for aspiring Prima ballerinas
4 March 2019, 12:19 PM

Young ballet dancers will be able to audition this week in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg to participate later the 2019 in the American Academy of Ballet’s 26th Summer School of Excellence.

A former director of the University of Cape Town’s ballet school, Mignon Furman, founded the American Academy before she immigrated to New York.

Each year, about 30 dancers from across South Africa are selected to attend the Summer School.

Many are awarded with scholarships to attend the eight week programme run, on two campuses, in New York. Dancers must have a minimum of two years’ training.

The Cape Town audition, for dancers from ages 11 and older, takes place from Monday 4 March, at Jan van Riebeeck Primary school, followed by auditions in Pretoria and Johannesburg.



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