No steel increase for now… A breather at last for the steel sector in South Africa as so far there are no confirmed increases for the 1st of March, however there is another issue as Eskom, South Africa’s sole electricity producer has just announced a tariff hike in excess of 15%. This is going to shoot labour costs through the roof and in turn have a ripple effect of increases down the line.
The country continues to battle with a steel shortage with no silver lining yet, there has been positive reports over the past few weeks that levels are expected to increase mid-year however currently the country is battling to cope with the local and export demand.
Mid this week there was an explosion at Arcelormittal’s Vanderbijlpark mill where unfortunately three workers lost their lives as part of a stack of coke batteries reaching 90 meters collapsed and fell on the workers.
Notice has come out this morning that due to this incident, production will be affected on thinner gauge material, namely coil from 1.60mm – 4.0mm which in turn effects the production of tube, pipe, sheets, roof sheets and lipped channels. It is also noted that the current steel shortage is most likely to continue until mid-2021 with consecutive steel increases on the books.
Word from our suppliers in China who have returned from their New Year festivities this week, is that Hot Rolled prices continue to increase which will impact on prices around the world. Some mills have delayed re-opening whilst new prices are prepared, whilst others are insisting on confirming orders first and then agreeing on a price! There are indeed very uncertain times ahead.
SA opens Beitbridge but Zim lockdown still in place, South Africa may have reopened its biggest land borders on Monday 15 January, but Zimbabwe’s decision to extend its lockdown for another two weeks prohibits travel between the neighbouring countries through the Beitbridge border post.
Beitbridge is a major border post which connects South Africa and Zimbabwe and processes thousands of commuters every single day. It’s normally the busiest land port in Southern Africa, but for more than a month, it’s only serviced cargo and nationals with government-endorsed travel exemptions.
Amid growing concerns of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, Zimbabwe returned to hard lockdown at the start of 2021. This included the closure of all non-essential businesses, a strict curfew and the closure of all land borders with exemptions for returning residents and commercial freight. South Africa, suffering from its own second wave closed off all land borders on 11 January where only returning residents, departing foreign nationals, and commercial cargo could pass through Beitbridge during this period.
On Monday 15 January 2021, South Africa reopened 20 border points of entry for travel, after implementing new regulations to curb congestion.
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has hiked its bank policy rate, from 35 to 40 percent, as part of new policy measures announced yesterday to buttress the prevailing economic stability.
This comes as the bank said the economy was poised for strong growth in the short to medium term, amid stable exchange rate and low inflation.
Apart from raising the bank policy rate to 40 percent per annum, the central bank also hiked the medium-term lending rate for productive sectors from 25 to 30 percent per annum.
The Central bank also increased cash withdrawal limits to 2 000 Zimbabwe dollars for individuals and maintained the current limits on mobile banking transactions at 5 000 Zimbabwe dollars per transaction, which has been aggregated to 35 000 Zimbabwe dollars per week.
The apex bank also increased statutory reserves from 2,5 percent to 5 percent for demand and/or call deposits and maintained the rate at 2,5 percent for time deposits. The variation of statutory reserves by maturity is expected to incentivise banks to hold long-term liabilities or time deposits for long-term lending in the medium-term.
“The reserve money target of 22,5 percent is consistent with the targeted end of year inflation of below 10 percent and projected 7,4 percent economic growth rate of the economy,” the governor said.
The African continent on Tuesday carved its own piece of history when Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was elected to lead the World Trade Organisation, as its director-general.
She becomes the first woman and the first African to lead this 164-member organisation in the 73 years of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which later transformed to the World Trade Organisation.
A former Nigerian finance minister and World Bank veteran, Okonjo-Iweala shrugged off stiff competition from seven other candidates to lead the global trade body, which had gone for seven months without a leader.
Sibanye-Stillwater’s profits soar, the free cash flow of precious metals company Sibanye-Stillwater rocketed to within a hair’s breadth of R20-billion in the second half of last year.
The Johannesburg and New York listed company reported a sky-high profit rise to R29.3-billion for the six months, up from R62-million in the previous year of 2019. Despite Covid-19, the group delivered a record financial performance and made notable progress towards delivery on many strategic targets.
The company is set to gain a R6.8 billion investment which is expected to create around 7,000 much needed jobs for South Africa.
Tanzania’s gold sector ready for giant leap, construction of gold refining machinery worth 8.9 billion in Mwanza with a capacity to process over 480 kilogrammes per day and can be extended to 960 Kgs per day is complete.
Mwanza Precious Metals Refinery Ltd., which is a joint venture of State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), Dubai-based Rozella Genera Trading LLC and ACME Consultant Engineers PTE Ltd. of Singapore, will be one of the best state-of-the-art gold refineries.
STAMICO Acting Managing Director Dr Venance Mwasse told Minister for Minerals Mr Dotto Biteko on Monday that the refinery plant, the first among three gold refineries currently under construction in the country, was set to be in operation the following month.
The plant ranks number 3 in Africa in terms of processing capacity.
The mineral will be processed there, meaning that no exportation of raw minerals. It will increase the country’s revenue and create over 120 direct employments to Tanzanians.
The project cost of US$58 million, which covered investment, running cost and purchase of gold for the initial ten-days when the refinery starts. Construction started in March 2020.
Vedanta warns off asset pickers, Vedanta Resources has warned potential buyers of assets held in its 85%-owned KCM that any corporate activity would be deemed inappropriate and that it would seek to protect its interests in Zambia and internationally. The Indian owned firm’s comments come as the provisional liquidator appointed by the Zambian government, progresses a plan to split the assets which consists of mining and processing facilities ahead of selling them to third parties.
The Zambian government has through its ZCCM-Investments Holdings company which holds a 15% stake in KCM, has forbidden Vedanta access to KCM’s assets arguing that the group failed to meet investment promises.
Vedanta has contested the matter in the Zambian and South African courts.
As gold prices soared, Barrick counted profits, Mining giants Barrick Gold reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that beat the analysts’ estimates, aided by the jump in gold prices due to coronavirus-induced economic uncertainty. The company’s US-listed shares were up 2.4%.
Gold prices touched record highs in 2020, as investors flocked to what is known as the safe-haven asset while the Covid-19 pandemic mauled the global economy.
In the fourth quarter, market prices averaged $1 875/oz, a staggering 26.4% higher than a year earlier. Barrick said its all-in sustaining costs for the reported quarter rose to $929/oz from $923/oz last year.
For 2021, the company expects the sustaining costs to be between $970/oz and $1 020/oz, compared with $967 in the previous year and they are anticipating full-year production to be between 4.4-million and 4.7-million ounces, compared with 4.8-million ounces produced in the previous year.
The miner also expects a jump copper production this year to be in the region of 410 to 460-million pounds this year as compared with production of 457-million pounds last year.
“A person with too much ambition cannot sleep in peace”
Steel shortages continue! The steel shortage in South Africa continues with rumours spreading that by mid year the sector should start to see an increase in steel levels as Mittal’s furnaces start to reach full capacity.
There is yet another steel price increase looming for the month of March totalling 8 consecutive steel increases over the past year into 2021 excluding December 2020.
ArcelorMittal SA announced last week that it will ramp up the production at its Vereeniging operation from half to full capacity, which is a direct response to a sudden increase in demand within South Africa and African overland markets.
The billet produced at the Vereeniging mill will be used for specialty input material to its Gauteng operations and various other mills across the country. It is expected to reduce the production demand from the Newcastle operation, which in turn will ensure more steel can be supplied to its long steel customers.
There is a base tariff protection on flat and long steel imports into South Africa of 10% and certain flat products are also subject to safeguard duty of 8%, which results in overall protection of 18% on certain grades.
Now with the hospitals requiring oxygen for COVID patients, this has thrown a spanner into the works for the steel sector, oxygen is in such short supply in South Africa that some companies are paying 30 times the usual going rate to keep critical equipment going and projects on track.
Companies with critical equipment that require oxygen were stretching what they have and rationing where necessary, in one case paying R4,000 for a bottle, compared to a usual price of R140.
Both Afrox and Air Liquide issued for majeure notices to customers in the face of what they said was a clear ethical and moral duty to prioritise supplies.
Industrial users have accepted that need, but say they hope to talk to suppliers about future supply crunches.
Livingstone closure sparks outcry, there’s been an uproar from opposition ranks of cross-border transporters ever since Zambia’s Road Development Agency decided to prevent road hauliers from using the Livingstone-Vic Falls border with Zimbabwe from March 1, as decision that has been on the cards for some time.
The reason for this decision is that the Zambian government feels that due to the bridge being a single lane carriage-way it’s affecting tourism in a negative way as most of the vehicles crossing are for road freight, which has been on the increase.
Essentially it means logistic operators into the Copperbelt in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will have to cross the Zambezi at Kazungula, a treacherous ferry transit which is sparking concern from transporters as there has been cases in the past where trucks have slipped off the ferry due to safety measures not being followed. The decision is also particularly bad for hauliers based in Zimbabwe sending shipments to the Copperbelt.
The secret of Kazangula, months after the much-hyped Kazungula Bridge across Zambia’s touch-point with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip was finalised, transporters are nowhere near knowing when the bridge will be handed over to the respective road authorities for use.
Word on the ground has been that the opening could be any day now, since the bridge’s lights were turned on in September last year, as if to signal that southern African logistics could be in for an early Christmas surprise but still to now, there is no concrete evidence as to when the bridge will be open for use.
There has been speculation that the necessary bilateral agreements between Botswana and Zambia haven’t been signed yet.
Its time the bridge is opened now especially since the announcement of the closure of Livingstone-Vic falls, this will aid in goods moving smoothly both north and south as well as faster turnaround times as transporters won’t have to deal with the ferry system.
Vedanta denied halt of KCM split, A Zambian court on Monday dismissed a motion by miner Vedanta Resources’ seeking to stop a state-appointed provisional liquidator from splitting up its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) unit and selling the assets.
Vedanta has been in an ongoing dispute with the Zambian government since May 2019, when the Zambian government, which owns 20% of KCM through state mining investment firm ZCCM-IH, handed control of the mine to a liquidator.
Vedanta said the plan to split KCM is illegal, and would result in a substantial loss in revenue for Zambia.
In an announcement in December, President Edgar Lungu said KCM would be split into two subsidiary companies, KCM SmelterCo Ltd and Konkola Mineral Resources Ltd, which would be effective 1 February 2021.
While the split was delayed by Vedanta’s injunction order, it is noted that the two entities are expected to begin to operate soon.
Tanzanian assets revived, Barrick Gold reported last week that it had successfully revived its North Mara and Bulyanhulu gold mines in Tanzania with North Mara having significant improvements and underground production being restarted at Bulyanhulu.
Both mines produced close to the top of their production guidance in 2020 under Barrick’s first full year. The Tanzanian operations delivered a combined output of 462,472 ounces for the year.
During the fourth quarter, North Mara posted a record throughput while Bulyanhulu recommenced processing of underground ore, Bulyanhulu is scheduled to be in full production during the first half of 2021.
Barrick assumed control of these assets after re-acquiring Acacia Mining in September 2019. The company is now managing the mines.
Barrick is currently optimizing a 10-year plan to make the combined North Mara and Bulyanhulu mines its seventh tier-one asset by bringing them into the lower half of the industry’s cost curve. At the same time, the company continues to work on improving relations with its host communities.
Zimbabwe scraps indigenisation law, last week miners in Zimbabwe were worrying over an amendment to ownership laws that seemingly reintroduce the country’s controversial laws which were previously scrapped in 2018. The change in laws back then paved the way for foreign owned entities to rightfully hold up to 100% ownership of a mine.
However, the wording of this amendment was unequivocally flawed, leaving it very much open to interpretation. In a joint statement issued by the ministries of finance and mines it was claimed that “last weeks’ notice may have caused some misconception to some inventors and other stakeholders in the mining sector”
Coincidentally, whilst this has captivated the attention of many, it has come to light that the Zimbabwean government has granted mining entity Great Dyke Investments a five-year tax exemption. In a notice, deemed to have come into effect from 1 January 2020, it is stated that “the receipts and accruals of Great Dyke Investments (Private) Limited, as per the Special Mining Lease Agreement signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and Great Dyke Investments (Private) Limited are approved”.
Nigeria to aid Mozambique in terrorism fight, Nigeria has offered to support Mozambique in its fight against Islamist insurgents in the gas-rich northern province of Cabo Delgado. Nigeria joins a list of numerous African and international countries offering aid to the terrorism rife region.
More than 2,000 people have been killed and more than 500,000 others displaced in the violence, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
It is said that Nigeria is ready to share its experience of fighting Islamist militants and provide support to Mozambique. But observers will question whether it’s best placed to offer advice, given the continued insecurity in Nigeria.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi urged the defence and security forces to fight hard against terrorists in the province of Cabo Delgado and against the Renamo Military Junta in central Mozambique.
Nyusi also urged those who have joined terrorist organizations and armed rebel groups to surrender, disarm, demobilize and reintegrate into the society.
Happy New Year! Abeyla Exports would like to wish our Chinese customers a happy new year with many blessings for the year ahead!
“Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand”
Steel shortages continue! South Africa’s steel woes continue with a bleak output on the horizon, capacity is at an all-time low with manufacturers and stockists battling to deliver and the continuous steel increases further damaging the sector.
The Steel Giants have put out notice of restructuring at its Newcastle facility expected to result in significant job losses of around 2,500 workers.
On a positive note, furnaces at Mittal’s two plants in South Africa are on schedule to be fired up early 2021.
Joining the band wagon, South Africa is imposing export taxes to either collect more revenue or modify the flow of goods across borders.
The Customs and Excise Duty Act has been amended to allow the minister of finance to impose an export duty whenever he sees it beneficial in the public interest. The amendment is expected to be effective March next year.
South Africa will also be introducing an export tax on scrap metal. There’s been talk about a 30% export tax on chrome and further export duties on iron ore as well as leather and maize. No implementation dates have been announced.
The export tax on Chrome has come as a shock and many of the domestic producers have frowned upon this and fear that this will backfire on the country.
Border updates, Beitbridge border post is now business as usual, little to no delays are being experienced currently.
Congestion at the crucial Chirundu Border Post between Zimbabwe and Zambia has been cleared following the bottlenecking of trucks on the northbound journey into the Copperbelt. The intermittent spike in volumes crossing the Zambezi at Chirundu was due to increased cargo coming through from the Port of Beira in Mozambique.
It was noted that the commodity coming from Mozambique was fuel. This was a result of the Zambian government deciding to issue a statutory instrument which ordered that 50% of freight in Zambia be reserved for local transporters, the country had found itself running short of essential cargo like fuel.
The Zambian government then set aside a three-week period that would allow other transporters to deliver fuel as the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia couldn’t keep up with volume requirements which in turn triggered a spike in cargo from the landlocked nation’s closest neighbouring port, Beira.
As cross-border road hauliers wait to hear from Zambia’s and Botswana’s transport authorities about when the completed Kazaungula bridge across the Zambezi will open, another truck has slipped off the pontoon into the mighty river’s depths.
It’s the second rig that has rolled off a ferry at the important crossing which is still served by three pontoons while the bridge, already finished in September, sits unused in the background.
It remains anyone’s guess as to why there’s such a holdup to open the bridge.
Trucker violence surges! on the night of 20th November 2020, 10 trucks were attacked and torched on the N3 in South Africa, this attack marks the single biggest attack on the country’s main supply route between Gauteng and the Port of Durban. Just a few days later another truck was attacked and earlier this week a truck driver was shot and burnt to death in his cabin, throughout the week there has been various attacks on trucks with the latest one coming just last night where a driver was shot at from both sides of his vehicle but luckily managed to flea just in time before his truck was torched.
The attacks are allegedly backed by the All Truck Driver Foundation (ATDF), a vigilante group opposed to foreign national truck drivers working in South Africa’s transport sector. ATDF has said that the attacks on transporters stem from employers in the sector allegedly favouring foreign nationals because they are paid less and are exploitable because many don’t hold valid work permits.
Earlier in the year ATDF threatened to embark on a strike that would cut off the Durban to Beitbridge corridor, however there was a court interdict and the protest never took place.
The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) has added its voice to pleas that transporters consider not working at night, thereby hopefully diminishing the life-threatening situation in which truck drivers find themselves as the violence targeting South Africa’s freight industry drags into its sixth day.
Ducking and diving, Deputy Gauteng Police Commissioner, Major General Daniel Mthombeni, circumvented the issue as industry stakeholders demanded concrete action to address the growing insurrection in the road freight industry.
He told attendees at a meeting held in Alberton yesterday that arrests had been made earlier this week and called for the establishment of a forum. Members of the industry however made it clear that a few arrests were not enough.
Transport and security companies said that they were aware of the ‘hot spots’ and asked why police visibility in these high-risk areas was still so poor and why there weren’t any functioning cameras on major highways.
A security company representative said on many occasions he would call the police to ask if certain routes were safe but even the police were unsure most of time.
Great Dyke making progress, Great Dyke Investments who has been pinned as Zimbabwe’s next platinum giant is ahead of schedule in boosting Zimbabwe’s platinum exports by 2022. According to the mine’s chief operations officer, Mr. Munashe Shava, extraction which commenced earlier this year will tally with the company’s projections of exports by 2022.
The Great Dyke Investments mine in Darwendale which follows Zimplats and Unki mines and is one of the new investments is expected to help the country reach a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
GDI is 50 percent owned by Russia’s Vi Holding, and 50 percent owned by Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture. The project has an excess of 180 million tonnes of ore containing 17 million ounces of platinum group metals and gold, with an average grade of 2,93 grammes per tonne.
The mine expects to start contributing to the country’s gross domestic product by 2022 although it has already contributed to the country’s fight against the Covid-19 where it supplied local health institutions with machinery and PPE.
DRC to formalise Artisanal Mining? EGC and Trafigura signed an offtake agreement in a bid to formalise artisanal and small-scale cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The trading agreement includes the provision of finance by Trafigura to fund the creation of strict, controlled artisanal mining zones, installation of ore purchasing stations as well as the costs related to the transparent and traceable delivery of cobalt hydroxide to Trafigura on an export cleared basis.
Under the supply terms, EGC will ensure that the ore marketed by Trafigura complies with OECD Due Diligence Guidance.
Earlier in the year Glencore made a U-Turn and also decided to back artisanal mining of cobalt. The group aims to end child labour in the cobalt mining sector and to improve the working conditions in Congo.
Almost three quarters of the world’s cobalt comes from Congo where Glencore owns two of the largest mines. Demand in cobalt is expected to surge in the coming years as the sales of electric-vehicles are said to take off.
Zambia’s copper output increases, Zambia who is Africa’s second-largest copper miner, produced 646,111 tonnes of the metal in the first nine months of 2020, up from 590,321 tonnes in the same period last year.
The Southern African nation now expects total production for the year to reach 820,000 tonnes, driven by rising copper prices.Bottom of Form
This comes as good news to Zambia, who is the first African country to default on a bond payment during the covid-19 pandemic by missing a $42.5 million interest payment on part of its international debt.
Zambia’s mining sector has been in the spotlight as the country’s financial situation deteriorated this year which prompted Glencore to shut its Mopani Copper Mines operation.
With that being said, the Zambian government has advised that negotiations with Glencore regarding increasing the government’s stake in Mopani were nearing a conclusion. No information has been given out about the size of the stake that state-owned ZCCM Investments Holdings is trying to acquire was given.
Tanzania to join in fighting terrorism! Tanzania’s government says is teaming up with Mozambique to launch a joint operation against violent attacks by Islamist militants along their shared border.
Several recent attacks blamed on Islamist extremists have targeted the border village of Ktaya in Tanzania’s Mtwara region.
Police say more than 175 houses were set on fire and some people were killed by assailants, who, authorities say, fled into neighbouring Mozambique.
Tanzania has already increased security along the border and it is now joining forces with Mozambique to contain what it calls terrorists.
Some opposition parties and rights groups are raising concerns about how the Tanzanian government plans to tackle the threat.
Tanzania becomes the 4th country that has pledged their allegiance in fighting the terrorist scourge, Britain, Zimbabwe and South Africa have voiced their aid however we are not seeing any troops headed to Mozambique.
Some Zimbabwean citizens are concerned about soldiers going into Mozambique, fearing that, that would encourage terrorists to infiltrate their country.
“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”
Prices on the rise as materials disappear, buckle in!! Further steel price increases have been announced for November which will be the ninth consecutive increase this year exacerbated by low stocks countrywide. South Africa is facing a steel shortage and explosive prices.
This trend has now moved over to the HDPE and Plastics sector and shortages of raw materials are being experienced by all the major manufacturers. Output as a general for HDPE polymers was 3,300 Tons per month which then dropped to 2,500 tons and as of the latest notice a further 15% drop is expected in production.
Various factors have been blamed both locally and internationally and Force Majure has been announced by many different industries who find themselves unable to perform to their pre-covid-19 service and production levels.
Output as a general for HDPE polymers was 3,300 Tons per month which then dropped to 2,500 tons and as of the latest notice a further 15% drop is expected in production.
Border updates, Chaos at Beitbridge over the past week, A motorist sadly passed away last week when a bakkie travelling south towards Musina from the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe collided with a truck that had reportedly crossed into the oncoming lane to overtake gridlocked traffic heading north. The fatal collision once more demonstrates that traffic officials should be held culpable for allowing cars and trucks going north to drive three abreast on a single-lane highway.
Intervention seems to be on the cards after the build-up of traffic south of South Africa’s Beitbridge border with Zimbabwe has deteriorated to such an extent that some sources say it is the worst it has ever been this century.
This comes after northbound transporters stuck at the Limpopo crossing posted video footage on social media of the Transit Assistance Bureau clearly showing how trucks, cars and buses were milling around as if no traffic officials were present to establish order. The queue already stretched to the Baobab truck stop some six kilometres south of the border.
Suggestions were made to officials that the border should be opened up to clear the congestion and alleviate pressure on officials clearly incapable of coping with mounting volumes.
Since the suggestions were made, South Africa’s Beitbridge border into Zimbabwe has virtually transformed and a recorded 18km queue has been reduced down to less than 1km. The northbound queue has also has also been reduced to a single lane of traffic.
Last week at the Lebombo Border Crossing there was also a backlog as vehicles trying to cross into Mozambique from South Africa came to a standstill, chrome trucks, general cargo and the bakkie brigade loads jockeying for position whilst customs continue to take their time.
Call went out for the border to operate 24/7 and it seems that the cries were heard, transit times at the border have been substantially reduced with around 450 trucks cleared every 24 hours.
Meanwhile there is no certainty about what the border authorities have done but it’s obviously helping, bringing much-needed relief to private sector interests who often complain of extended standing time at the border.
The real test will come towards the end of the week as volume often picks up towards the weekend.
Finally, the opening of the Kazangula Bridge may happen before the end of the year, the bridge was initially supposed to be completed back in 2018 but due to various delays there is now a promising outlook that the opening will be soon, this comes after it was reported that ZRA had announced that it would be moving its regional office from Livingstone to the southern Zambian town from which the much-hyped linkage has taken its name.
Speaking to a Zambian news site, ZRA emphasised that the $70-billion bridge into Botswana would boost trade in Zambia’s southern province significantly, with tangible benefits for revenue collection.
Transporters will also not need much persuasion to divert traffic away from other north-south route border posts such as Beitbridge, considering the shambles it has been of late.
Zimbabwe mineral production increases, The Zimbabwe mining industry has managed to stay afloat with sustainable, profitable and balance production results whilst still fighting off the challenges faced within the mining sector.
Adding onto this, the mining sector has become quite optimistic about 2021 with the ever-improving commodity prices and a favourable local fiscal the sky is the limit for Zimbabwe in 2021.
90 percent of miner’s plan on upscaling production in the coming year with the other 10 percent expecting production to remain the same. Gold output is expected to increase around 30% in the coming year, followed by platinum and coal spurred by world commodity prices that continue to move upwards.
Terrorism crossing the border! The Islamist terrorist group operating in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique have made their away across the border to Tanzania, where it is reported 20 people were beheaded.
The attack was carried out against the village of Kitaya, in Mtwara province, near the border with the Cabo Delgado district of Palma.
According to military sources cited by the newsheet, the terrorists entered Tanzania by sea, going up the Rovuma river that forms the border between Mozambique and Tanzania.
The raiders burnt down houses, destroyed an armoured vehicle and stole money and military equipment. The terrorist network that calls itself “Islamic State” claimed responsibility for the attack, and reported three Tanzanian soldiers had been killed in the ensuing battle that followed.
“Rain does not fall on one roof alone”
The “Dar Corridor” which connects Zambia to the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania has come to a grinding halt after Zambia authorised the closure of the Nakonde border indefinitely to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections.
The decision was made after a surge in infections which blamed has been placed on truck drivers coming from Tanzania who themselves have seen a rise in infections.
Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia’s health minister advised that the border would remain shut until further notice, during this time health workers will be retrained with regards to the screening process in hopes of speeding up testing.
Fears are mounting that this will negatively impact and already struggling economy, however President Edgar Lungu announced last week Friday that certain measures will ease, he had this to say “We have experienced reduced revenue and if the status quo remains the same, our economy will plunge into the worst crisis, I have therefore seen it inevitable to reopen cinemas, restaurants and gymnasiums,”
There is still much confusion with regards to Zambia’s lockdown as there is conflicting reports whether the country is or isn’t in a lock down.
Producing at a loss, South African Miners are becoming more and more concerned as the effects of COVID-19 are negatively impacting deep level mining in the country, last month government allowed deep level mines to operate at half capacity, this is however is not sufficient according to mining giant’s CEO of Sibanye Neil Froneman, he said “Labour intensive mines cannot continuously operate at these levels, so they will either have to restructure or shut down, you can’t keep on producing at a loss”
“We are causing more harm by constraining the economy than we are impacting positively on Covid-19,” said Froneman. “We have gone too far now; we now need to get the economy to start up.”
South Africa produces 75% of the world’s platinum and about 40% of palladium.
Sibanye which is the world’s number one platinum miner and Harmony Gold Mining Co. have ended guidance, whilst the likes of Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have slashed their output forecasts.
Chirundu delays have seemingly come to an end, just last week Zimbabwean officials were instructed to move down south and inspect vehicles sitting at truck stops in order to combat potential smuggling, by the weekend this resulted in a 27km queue and drivers further down were being robbed of their possessions at gun point, Zambian officials acted swiftly and came to assist in the control zones on the Zimbabwean side and by the beginning of this week the queue had been reduced to a 7kms, processing of drivers is now moving smoothly and its business as usual.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”.