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Africa Brief : Zimbabwe mine workers ‘want wages to be more than doubled’ and more…

Zimbabwe mine workers ‘want wages to be more than doubled’

Mining companies operating in Zimbabwe and the main labour union in the industry have reached a deadlock in pay talks for next year after the trade union demanded that wages be more than doubled, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents the companies, and the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe, which represents 34,000 workers, met last Tuesday. The Harare-based union wants employers to boost pay to a min¬imum of $800 a month for dia¬mond-mine workers, $700 for platinum mines and $573 for gold and other mine workers, while the chamber is demanding an infla-tion-linked adjustment, according to position papers presented at last week’s meeting obtained by Bloomberg. The current mini¬mum wage for all mine workers is $227 while annual inflation was 0.59% in October.
“The union believes that it’s fair and just for each subsector to remunerate its employees at rates that are proportional to its per¬formance,” the union said in its submission. Pay was raised by 15% for gold workers and 7% for other miners this year. “Continued high wage demands made by the trade union threaten the survival of the indus¬try,” the chamber said.

For the full story, read Zimbabwe mine workers ‘want wages to be more than doubled‘ by GODFREY MARAWANYIKA published by Business Day on 03/12/2013


West Africa to get tech injection from private equity fund

Covergance Partners Investments, a South African private equity company focused on technology, plans to invest part of its $250 million (R2.5 bil¬lion) fund for telecommunica¬tions infrastructure in Nigeria and across west Africa. The fund expects to reach $250m by the end of next year after raising $145m at its start on November 27, with invest¬ments from, among others, the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Convergence Partners holds a 12.5 percent stake in Seacom’s project to develop an undersea telecommunications cable to link South Africa and east Africa with Europe and India, and has invested in Dimension Data, South Africa’s largest technology services provider. Investments in the $250m fund have come from the Inter¬national Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, the Dutch Development Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the UK’s CDC Group.

For the full story read, West Africa to get tech injection from private equity fund by Yinka Ibukun, published by The Star, Business Report on 03/12/2013

Angola: Lontra gas well ‘of global scale’

Cobalt International Energy’s latest Lontra well off Angola found more natural gas than the company had expected, it said yesterday The well flowed 2 500 barrels of gas condensate and 39 million cubic feet of gas a day during tests in Block 20, the company said. “It is clear that Lontra is a discovery on a global scale,” Cobalt chief executive Joseph Bryant said. Although the field contains more gas than our pre-drill estimates, it is beneficial that Lontra is offshore near Luanda, where we believe there is a potentially large emerging market for gas.”

For the full story, read ANGOLA: Lontra gas well ‘of global scale‘ by Bloomberg, published by The Star, Business Report on 03/12/2013

Gabon: Eurobond yield minimum set

Gabon fixed the minimum yield on eurobonds it planned to issue as part of an exchange of $1 billion (R10.16bn) of existing debt at 6.125 percent, the arrangers of the deal said yesterday The nation was replacing securities due in 2017 through a combined exchange and tender offer, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered said. The new notes will mature in 2024, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. Gabon first sold eurobonds in 2007 with a coupon of 8.2 percent. Yields on the securities have risen by 21 basis points this year to 3.69 percent.

Excerpt from GABON: Eurobond yield minimum set by Bloomberg published by The Star, Business Report on 03/12/2013.

East African countries aim for single currency

The live members of the East African Community (EAC) economic group have agreed to adopt a single currency. The leaders of Kenya, Uganda, Tanza-nia, Rwanda and Burundi signed a pro-tocol in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Saturday for the adoption of a common currency in 10 years.Established 13 years ago, the EAC has already created-a common market and a single customs union.

Excerpt from East African countries aim for single currency by Sapa-dpa, published byThe New Age on 02/12/2013

Regional exports fail to slow SA’s trade deficit

SA bought more from the rest of the world than it sold in October, causing the trade balance to record yet another deficit despite the inclu­sion of trade with Botswana, Les­otho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS) in the trade data. South African Revenue Service (SARS) figures showed on Friday that the trade deficit widened to R12.4bn in October from R12bn the month before.

Economic activity in countries that SA exports to remains subdued. SA needs to import machinery for its infrastructure programmes and machinery and electrical appliance imports rose R1.24bn in October. Exports are projected to rise in line with an improvement in the global economy next year. The cumulative deficit for this year is R76.10bn compared with R38.62bn during the same period last year. The cumulative deficit for this year was R146.58bn compared with R106.16bn last year if trade with the BLNS countries was excluded.

Excerpt from Regional exports fail to slow SA’s trade deficit by Ntsakai Mwaswanganyi, published by The New Age on 02/12/2013

David Okwara

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