Flash Briefing: SA mines unlikely saviour of ravaged economy; lockdown likely to be extended; ANC rejects Zuma

Flash Briefing: SA mines unlikely saviour of ravaged economy; lockdown likely to be extended; ANC rejects Zuma

Listen on iTunes The world’s deepest precious-metals mines, together with giant iron-ore and coal pits are providing an unexpected boon to a South African economy slowly recovering from its biggest contraction in a century . Surging demand and prices for commodities including platinum-group metals, iron ore, manganese and coal are generating record mining-company profits and bolstering government revenue. South Africa’s terms of trade — a measure of export prices relative to import costs — increased 12% over the past year and more than 20% since the end of 2018, as the global economic recovery from the pandemic pushed up demand for commodities, according to HSBC Bank Plc economist David Faulkner.

AngloGold Ashanti appointed former BHP Group executive Alberto Calderon to its top job, ending a nearly year-long head hunt that’s weighed on the shares of the No. 3 gold producer. Calderon, a 61-year-old Colombian who once served as a junior minister in a government that fought drug lord Pablo Escobar, will join AngloGold on Sept. 1.

The government will most likely extend the two-week adjusted level four lockdown regulations as Covid-19 cases in South Africa continue to rise. This is the view of Hugo Pienaar, chief economist at the bureau for economic research at Stellenbosch University. Pienaar said the fact that an agreement has been reached to extend the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) to employees affected by the level 4 lockdown gives a hint that the regulations will be extended beyond the initial two weeks.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress distanced itself from former President Jacob Zuma’s attempt to discredit the Constitutional Court after it found him guilty of contempt , and slated threats by his supporters to block the authorities from arresting him. All South Africans have a responsibility to respect and observe the law, and the judiciary and law-enforcement agencies need to be defended from political attack, the ANC’s National Executive Committee, its top leadership structure, said in a statement on Tuesday.

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