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SA developers hope for game glory

A group of South African game developers is planning the development of an open-source adventure role-playing game that the developers hope will reinvigorate South Africa's game-development industry. The game is likely to have an African folklore and mythology theme.

China moves again to cool overheated property sector

China's will next month increase down-payments on home loans and broaden the capital gains tax, moves analysts said on Tuesday should help cool the overheated real estate sector in the short term. The down-payment on homes above 90 square metres would be raised to 30% from 20%, as authorities target the high-end of the property market.

Vodacom’s profits keep on rising

South African cellular operator Vodacom on Tuesday reported a group-wide customer increase of 51,9% to 23,5-million for the year ended March. Revenue was up 24,6% to R34-billion, while profit from operations rose by 36,9% to R8,9-billion. Vodacom reported net profit after taxation up 32% to R5,1-billion.

SA companies double their business in Africa

The number of South African companies doing business in Africa has more than doubled since 1994, Minster of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told MPs on Monday. She noted that the figures were drawn from <i>Who Owns Whom</i> and the South African Institute of International Affairs.

Thriving in Telkom’s shadow

South Africa's telecommunication industry is so poorly structured that an industry worth several billion has sprung up in its shadows, offering cut-price calls. The LCR or least-cost routing industry is saving businesses up to 40%, through implementing savings on the cellphone portion of their Telkom bill.

V&A Waterfront stake up for sale

Transnet and two of its pension funds have decided to dispose of their share in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, billed as South Africa's most visited tourist destination. The remaining shareholder, the Transnet Retirement Fund, has yet to decide whether it will sell its 22,6% share, or retain it and push it up to 26%.

India’s United Breweries drops Taittinger bid

India's biggest distiller, the United Breweries Group, said on Monday it had dropped plans to buy French champagne group Taittinger as ''local groups'' had stepped in with a new offer. According to French newspaper Les Echos, Belgian businessman Albert Frere is considering re-entering the bidding.

Standard Bank warns against cyber-crime threats

Standard Bank has become aware of a growing number of cyber-crime incidents taking place at internet cafés and other public places that offer internet services. On Monday it urged customers not to use computer facilities that they are not familiar with.

NUM members elect new leadership

Members of the trade union National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) elected a new leadership during the organisation's twelfth congress on the weekend. NUM president Senzeni Zokwana was re-elected and the congress elected Frans Baleni as the union's new general secretary. The congress bade farewell to its outgoing general secretary, Gwede Mantashe.

Wolfowitz urges investment in Africa’s infrastructure

Sending aid isn't enough to help reduce poverty in Africa, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said on Monday. Rich countries need to do more by investing in basic services like electricity and transportation, he said. These services are necessary for businesses to function and engage in trade, as well as help people in their daily lives, communicate with one another and acquire knowledge.

Zimbabwe, E Guinea ink energy deal

Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea signed an agreement that will see the two countries trading energy resources, Zimbabwean radio reported on Monday. But the authorities stressed it was a ''purely commercial agreement'' and there was no indication that the deal might involve the extradition of Simon Mann.

Sasol launches compensation fund

A compensation fund for workers injured or killed in Sasol's September 2004 blast was launched in Johannesburg on Monday. Qualifying victims of the accident and the dependants of those who died can submit applications for compensation to the September 2004 Accident Trust.

Turning a home into a pension

South African financial institutions could learn a thing or two from innovations abroad that provide for retirement. Many people consider their homes, which they intend to sell on retirement, as their pension. The problem is that downsizing does not necessarily save money as townhouses, clusters or retirement villages often carry a premium price.

Champagne producers uneasy over takeover bid

A bid by India's United Breweries to take over the French champagne group Taittinger has sparked concern among wine professionals in the company's home region in Northern France. Welcomed by some as a chance to get a foothold in the Indian market, the -million bid is seen by others as a threat to the French system of locality-based appellations for wine.

Africa’s growth to take centre stage at WEF meeting

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa opening in Cape Town on Wednesday will take stock of Africa's strongest growth in three decades and the impact of China and India on the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa is poised to post growth of 5,8%, its best performance in more than 30 years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Sentences for Skilling, Lay may depend on size of losses

Just how much time former Enron chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling spend in prison could hinge on how much of the more than -billion lost in the company's crash is deemed their responsibility. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the felons easily face more than 20 years in prison if investor loss tied to their actions exceeds -million or more.

Arcelor merges with Russian steel group

Arcelor, the pan-European steel group, on Friday torpedoed Mittal's latest hostile takeover bid by buying Russia's Severstal in an agreed €13-billion deal designed to create an ''unrivalled global champion'' out of reach of its Indian-owned predator.

Emergency exit here

Mild panic has gripped the world's financial markets as the stock market rout that started in early May continued, with many stocks losing up to 10% of their value in as many days. Asset managers attempted to douse the growing panic by advising investors to stay calm, though those who heeded the same advice in 1998 had to wait nearly two years to recover from the 40% drop in stock prices.