ANC endorses reform; Anglo urges mining truce; Samancor ‘heist’ allegations; Moyo wants R250m

By Linda van Tilburg

  • The ANC has approved a range of proposals to revive economic growth, but stopped short of endorsing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s plan to sell state assets. ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said there was broad consensus among its top decision making body about the challenges that the nation faces. Magashule said there was a clear determination to act decisively and resolutely. The Rand gained as much as 0.7% to end the day at R15.21 to the dollar after his statement. On the JSE, miners gained with Anglo Platinum rising 6.35%, while Sibanye Gold gained 3.3% and Implats 2.99%.
  • The latest pay offer from miners to trade union, AMCU was rejected and the dispute is now going to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. AMCU says the offer from Sibanye Gold remains substantially lower than those from Amplats and Implats. The trade union indicated that the mining companies should show flexibility as AMCU won’t move from its revised demand for a monthly wage of at least R1,500.
  • Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani has urged the mining sector at the Joburg Indaba to work more closely with the government. The sector is currently locked in a court battle with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on aspects of the Mining Charter. Cutifani said mining could lead South Africa’s economic revival but investors needed reassurance that their money was secure. The Anglo head said modern, sustainable and innovative mining was capable of building thriving mining communities that were healthier, better educated and employed in greater numbers. He came out in support of President Cyril Ramaphosa saying he believed that the government was on course towards much-needed stability. Cutifani also announced that Anglo American won’t invest in new thermal coal mines in South Africa.
  • AMCU is taking private miner, Samancor Chrome to court in what AmaBhungane calls “the great Samancor heist“. The trade union alleges that Croatian billionaire Danko Končar and his “associates spirited billions of Rands abroad in a transfer pricing scheme” and that they sold assets while secretly pocketing most of the proceeds. A figure of R7.5bn is mentioned that Končar and his associates has allegedly extracted from 2005-2010. It follows the testimony of a whistleblower, a former director at Samancor, Miodrag Kon who had access to internal documents and emails. The trade union wants the court to force Samancor to open its books “as a first step towards a massive damages claim from its workers.”Končar and other Samancor executives have not responded to the claim yet.
  • Old Mutual said CEO Peter Moyo wants R250m in damages after he was fired. That is in addition to the R36m he received for “doing the job” and R4m for his six months’ notice period. The company said they would defend any claim vigorously, while Moyo indicated that his primary intention was to get his job back. Shares in Old Mutual declined by 10% since Moyo was first dismissed.
  • SARS has ended the employment of its controversial of IT head, Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane and the group employee of employee relations Luther Lubelo after they were initially suspended. This comes after SARS announced her suspension in August.
  • And finally, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed his last offer to the EU for a Brexit deal. It includes a plan to replace the so-called backstop that would see Northern Ireland essentially stay in the European single market for goods through the creation of an all-island regulatory zone. The EU said they would examine his offer ‘objectively’.
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