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Oil bunkering – hacking into pipelines to steal crude then refining it or selling it abroad – has become a major cost to Nigeria’s treasury, which depends on oil for 80% of its earnings. Many local Nigerians would obtain these oils and refine the oil to sell to the local and foreign market to make a living even though they know this is illegal. Nigerians can make $60 (about R523) in a day by oil bunkering.
Excluding South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is said to grow at 6.6% this year. When including SA’s 30% weighting in the Sub-Saharan Economy, the growth rate falls to 5.4%. President of the African Bank Donald Kaberuka says the dynamic in Africa is good however, there are risks when you consider the global environment.
Africa has turned to one of the biggest profit generators for Vodafone, helping to make up for the European slow down. Africa will be the industry’s fastest growing region by subscribers over the next 5 years as firms build advanced networks and customers switch to broadband. Vodafone reported a R12.9bn EBITDA, which is 15% up from the prior year.
Germany and Zimbabwe will be co-hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s general assembly in August. Germany is concerned regarding Zimbabwe’s ability to do this as there is continued invasion of protected wildlife conservancies by Zanu (PF).
Due to the long queues at the Beitbridge, Zimbabwe Education Minister, David Coltart has suggested a new border post be considered between South Africa and Zimbabwe. SA Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, is aware of the problem and is working on a solution to improve the situation. The South African Chamber of Commerce has raised concern, but does not feel a new border will solve the current problem.
Exxon Mobil, US energy producer intends to search for crude and natural gas in South Africa. Dave van der Spuy (resource evaluation manager at Petroleum SA) believes the level of activity and interest in SA is at its highest. With SA being the continent’s biggest oil importer, international energy companies with new technologies are entering SA. Mozambique is another energy province, with the largest gas finds.
Last year saw the expansion of global fashion brands expanding into South Africa, due to the increasing consumer culture; Africa attracts investments from international companies. Global retailers are looking for new income streams in SA, as it has a relatively untapped market. This puts pressure on local retailers to shorten their merchandise cycle to remain competitive with the other brands. This means a wider variety for local consumers as more brands expand into SA, which previously had a conservative clothing market.
The fight between farmers and the state of Zimbabwe for land has been a prolonged battle, widely seen as executive self-help. The SADC (Southern African Development Community) tribunal was set up for individuals who had exhausted their country’s domestic courts, which was later suspended. It was later decided to amend the protocol for the tribunal which now disallows individuals from approaching it, though it has been much condemned.