South Africa’s Mining Production Slows, Diamonds and Platinum Hit Hardest
Statistics South Africa data has shown that mining production and sales slowed by 2.6% in March 2023 compared to March 2022, reports SABC News. The largest contribution to the decline in the annual figure came from diamonds and platinum group of metals. However, on a monthly basis, mining production exceeded expectations, increasing by 6.5% in March compared to February. Gold, platinum group of metals, iron ore, and manganese contributed to the increase. Economist at Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt says load shedding and the logistical constraints in the country will pose a challenge for mining production in the latter part of the year.
Fraud Charge Laid Against New Johannesburg Mayor
A case of fraud has been reported at a police station in Soweto against Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, reports eNCA. The allegations are connected to his investment company, iThemba Lama Afrika. The complainants say they were deceived into investing in the company with the expectation of substantial profits. Main opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) is backing the individuals who filed the charges.
Excessive Spending on Councillors’ Security Raises Concerns in KwaZulu-Natal Municipalities
Councillors in KwaZulu-Natal municipalities have spent R84.4 million on over 500 bodyguards and R21.9 million on chauffeurs, without proper risk assessment, reports News24. This is according to a report by the provincial cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) department, which monitors expenditure on councillors’ security on a quarterly basis. The report highlights the lack of threat analysis for councillors receiving security. The top 10 municipalities with the highest security expenditures are Umzumbe, Harry Gwala district, uPhongolo, uMuziwabantu, uMgungundlovu district, Dannhauser, uThukela, Nkandla, and uMvoti. The eThekwini metro has the highest security budget at R21.7 million. Security analyst Ntsikelelo Breakfast said councillors had “gone overboard”.