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Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa promises new currency

Zimbabwe has since used US dollars, the South African rand and, in recent years, two local quasi-currencies.

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Zimbabwe's president, Emmerson Mnangagwa promises new currency
Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday promised to introduce a new national currency, 10 years after hyperinflation rendered the Zimbabwean dollar worthless.

The country has since used US dollars, the South African rand and, in recent years, two local quasi-currencies that have fallen sharply in value.

“A country cannot develop using other countries’ currencies, without its own currency,” Mnangagwa said.

“As a country we should have our own currency. We have already started that journey.”

He acknowledged that the two local quasi-currencies, called bond notes and RTGS, were weakening rapidly.

“You sleep today with the rate at one US dollars to five… and the next morning it’s a one to six, one to seven, one to eight and so forth.

“And when they do that, the price of bread increases according to the exchange rate.”

Zimbabwe’s economy has been struggling since hyperinflation peaked at 500 billion percent and wiped out savings under president Robert Mugabe.

It is undergoing another bout of price rises and shortages of fuel and daily essentials, with inflation currently more than 75 per cent, putting basic goods beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans.

Mnangagwa’s efforts to attract investment and create jobs have floundered since he came to power in 2017.

He gave no timetable for the introduction of the new currency, saying simply, “you will be informed about it”.

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Zambia declines donor aid amid its worst drought

The government says it has enough corn, the country’s staple food, to last until the next season and won’t need to import

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Zambia declines donor aid amid its worst drought
(File photo)

Zambia is experiencing its worst drought since 1981, but its government insists that a state of national emergency will not be declared.

Neither will donor assistance be accepted. A Southern Africa Development Community report last month, forecast 2.3 million Zambians will be food-insecure by March after large parts of the southern and western areas of the country received the lowest rainfall since 1981.

Over the same period, the report forecast Zambia will experience an 888,000-ton cereal deficit.

The Zambian government says it has enough corn, the country’s staple food, to last until the next season and won’t need to import.

Retail prices for the cornflour that Zambians consume mostly are already the highest since at least, 2003, according to data from the national statistics agency.

In July, prices were 41 per cent higher than the same time last year, helping to push inflation to 8.8 per cent, the highest since November 2016.

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Total South Africa to buy Anadarko’s Africa assets

The project is estimated to cost as much as $23 billion to develop and will be Africa’s biggest single investment for the French firm

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Total South Africa to buy Anadarko's Africa assets
(File photo)

Total South Africa has affirmed its commitment to developing Mozambique’s natural gas project.

This venture will begin after take-over from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, which forms part of its expansion in Africa.

The Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Pouyanné, adds that the project has been estimated to cost as much as $23 billion to develop and will be Africa’s biggest single investment for the French firm.

Mozambique needs resources to adapt to extreme weather after two powerful cyclones in the same season this year.

Total is set to buy all of Anadarko’s assets in Africa including oil and gas projects in Ghana and Algeria.

In Uganda, Total is in talks with the government on a deal to purchase part of Tullow oil Plc’s stake in the Lake Albert oil project.

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Banks react to South Africa’s new debt relief laws

The bill was opposed by the banking industry, clothing retailers who provide credit and the opposition, Democratic Alliance

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Banks react to South Africa’s new debt relief laws

South Africa’s banks are concerned that some of their customers will get away with not having to repay their debt.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, signed the National Credit Amendment Bill into law, setting the groundwork for over-indebted consumers to have payments suspended, in part or full, for as many as 24 months, or even scrapped if their financial situation has been found to have worsened.

The bill was opposed by the banking industry, clothing retailers who provide credit and the opposition, Democratic Alliance as it would drive up the cost of loans for low-income earners, restrict lending and encourage bad behaviour from borrowers.

Following an economic impact assessment and engagement with the country’s Department of Trade and Industry, which is spearheading the bill, it was found that banks will either have to price in higher risks or avoid lending to low-income customers altogether.

South Africa’s National Treasury estimates that the debt-relief proposals could result in the write-off of R13.2 billion to R20 billion of debt under provisions of the bill.

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