Copenhagen, Denmark – Greenland is not for sale and US President Donald Trump’s idea of buying the semi-autonomous Danish territory in the Arctic from Denmark is "an absurd discussion," Denmark’s prime minister said.
Mette Frederiksen, who was visiting the world’s largest island to meet Premier Kim Kielsen, told reporters: "Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic. I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant."
Frederiksen said Sunday that the Arctic, with resources that Russia and others could exploit for commercial gain, "is becoming increasingly important to the entire world community."
Retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources in Greenland which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the island’s fortunes. However, no oil has yet been found in Greenlandic waters, and 80 percent of the island is covered by an ice sheet that is up to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) thick, which means exploration is only possible in coastal regions.
Even there, conditions are far from ideal due to the long winter with frozen ports, 24-hour darkness and temperatures regularly dropping below minus 20 Fahrenheit (minus 30 Celsius) in the northern parts.
Trump is expected to visit Denmark Sept. 2-3 as part of a trip to Europe.
Trump said Sunday that he is interested in the idea, but it’s not a priority of his administration.
"Strategically it’s interesting and we’d be interested, but we’ll talk to them a little bit. It’s not No. 1 on the burner, I can tell you that," the president said.
It wouldn’t be the first time an American leader has tried to buy the world’s largest island. In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island.
Under a 1951 deal, Denmark allowed the U.S. to build bases and radar stations on Greenland.
The U.S. Air Force currently maintains one base in northern Greenland, Thule Air Force Base, some 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) south of the North Pole. Formerly military airfields in Narsarsuaq, Kulusuk and Kangerlussuaq have become civilian airports.
The Thule base, constructed in 1952, was originally designed as a refueling base for long-range bombing missions. It has been a ballistic missile early warning and space surveillance site since 1961.
Frederiksen, who became prime minister June 27, was on a planned two-day trip to Greenland before traveling to nearby Iceland for a meeting of the Nordic prime ministers.
"Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there. Jokes aside, we will of course love to have an even closer strategic relationship with the United States," Frederiksen said.
JOHANNESBURG – For the fifth time in as many matches the Lions fought back in the second half after trailing at the interval, but like the week before they were unable to register a dramatic come-from-behind win.
After a fairly bland 80 minutes it was the visiting Sharks who finished on top, by two points, as the Bulls had done by five points the week before – also at Ellis Park.
With a three-from-five record the Lions are still well placed in third spot on the Currie Cup points table, while the Sharks, who’re now also three-from-five, are fourth in the standings.
The top four and semi-finalists will thus be decided in the final round of matches this coming weekend, with top-of-the-table Griquas hosting the Lions, Free State entertaining Western Province and the Bulls welcoming the Sharks.
In yesterday’s action, the Lions got off to the perfect star when flyhalf Shaun Reynolds went over for his team’s first try inside four minutes and he’d add a penalty later in the opening half, but that’s all the home team could show for their efforts in the 40 minutes.
While the Lions did a lot of playing, they lacked in their execution and it was the Sharks who deservedly led at the break.
Young scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba had a first half to remember as he scored a try which he also converted, while he also added a penalty.
Sharks co-captain, centre Jeremy Ward, also enjoyed a good first 40 minutes as he not only made the pass to Nohamba for his try but he scored one himself, taking a pass from veteran wing Lwazi Mvovo who did some good work out wide.
And young Sharks flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain ensured the visitors to Joburg led by 10 at the interval after he slotted a 40 metre drop-goal just before the break.
The Lions though, as they’ve done all competition, fought back strongly after the break. First, fullback Tyrone Green scored a try in the corner before Reynolds got his second try after another strong run-in from close to the tryline and a penalty. In that time the Sharks could only manage three points, via the boot of Nohamba, and with 10 minutes to play the teams were level at 23-all.
Ward then scored his team’s third try, after collecting a smart grubber by replacement Rhyno Smith, who also slotted the conversion, and while there was time for the Lions to also score another five-pointer, through replacement Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit failed to land the conversion and the Sharks hung on for victory.
Johannesburg – Tracker’s latest vehicle crime stats provide some valuable insights into the most dangerous areas to drive in as well as the time and days of the week that hijackings and thefts occur most frequently.
According to the vehicle tracking company, the Gauteng suburbs most affected by hijackings are Kensington, Arcadia and Eldorado Park, while the vehicle theft hotspots are the Pretoria CBD, Arcadia and Sunnyside
In the Western Cape, Philippi, Khayelitsha and Maitland emerged as the highest risk areas for hijacking, while Philippi, Claremont and Dunoon topped the list for regular vehicle thefts.
Kwa-Zulu Natal was also surveyed, with Sydenham, Imbali and Avoca Hills recording the most hijacking activations, while theft was mostly reported in Glenwood, Morningside and Musgrave.
An increase in hostage taking
Yet the most alarming stat released in this year’s survey shows that there has been an increase in hostage taking during hijackings – these kidnappings having taken place in 29 percent of Tracker’s recorded activations.
A number of sly methods are employed in the commission of vehicle crimes these days, including hijackers impersonating police, the spiking of drinks in order to take advantage of unsuspecting victims and vehicle theft using online selling platforms, where sellers hand over goods on receipt of a fake payment.
Hijackings most common on Fridays
Tracker’s data also showed that most hijacking activations took place on a Friday between 11h00 and 13h00, followed by 20h00 to 23h00.
Thefts, meanwhile, were most likely to occur on a Saturday between 12h00 and 14h00.
Importance of staying alert
“Many people go about their regular driving activity on auto-pilot without much awareness or consideration for what is going on around them,” said Tracker executive Ron Knott-Craig.
“Criminals recognise and take advantage of this complacency. To avoid being an easy target, we need to stay alert and be vigilant. Avoid distractions while driving and pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t believe it could never happen to you.”
For every selfie posted there are at least 20 unposted versions of the same picture.
These are the ones that didn’t make the cut – the ones where your double chin looks like a triple. Where the lighting picks up every pimple on your face. The ones with the half-closed droopy eyes and expressions that make you look dorky instead of sultry.
When you scroll through your favourite influencer’s feed all you see is flawless skin, perfect face beats with each slick hair in place. Even their “I woke up like this” posts show seemingly makeup-free glowing skin.
Amsterdam based vlogger Rianne Meijer’s Instagram page, just like any other influencers pages, shows happy holiday snaps, professionally styled fashion shots and perfect beauty posts.
Recently Meijer showed her followers the truth behind her seemingly perfect posts.
Proving that there is indeed at least 20 imperfect pics for every “perfect” one.
Before pictures are tweaked to death with layers upon layers of filters and photoshop tricks, she shows how the correct choice of angle, lighting and location can make or break a picture.
Then, of course, there’s the timing. A split second can make the difference between a sleepy eye or bright-eyed picture.
When you look at some of Meijer’s real versus Insta pictures, she almost looks like a completely different person.
Next time you scroll through Instagram know that those influencers have gone through the most to show you the best (and often contrived) versions of themselves.
JOHANNESBURG – The pain of a stressful couple of days for Orlando Pirates was clearly visible on Rhulani Mokwena’s face after Bucs’ loss to Highlands Park in the MTN8 on Saturday night at Orlando Stadium.
The loss to the Lions of the North compounded Pirates’ woes that started with a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round tie against Zambia’s Green Eagles.
A demoralising 3-0 defeat by SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium followed along with Micho Sredojevic’s abrupt resignation on the eve of their clash with Highlands.
Pirates were already on the backfoot when they entered Orlando Stadium. Highlands capitalised on that, dumping them out of the most financially rewarding cup competition in the country. Amidst this chaos, Mokwena find it difficult to talk about whether he is ready to step up to the head coach position having been elevated from the assistant role to fill the void left by the Serbian in the meantime.
“I think that after a performance like that and three straight bad results, it would be unwise to even start to think of myself. When you have been called to serve, you’ve always got to try to think less of yourself and try to put the team first,” Mokwena said.
“At this moment in time, it becomes difficult to detach myself from what the team is going through. As much as I can explain and elaborate what this means for myself, but as a club at this moment in time, we are feeling a lot.
“Regardless of how I feel and regardless of the honour bestowed upon me to lead an institution like this, it counts for nothing when as a club and an institution we are not in a good way. I am a part of that, so it becomes difficult for me to detach myself from this current situation.
We have to stick together and raise the level of the performance. The coaches, and 100 percent rightly so, will always say that the result are a reflection of the performance and in the last three matches we haven’t played the way we would expect Orlando Pirates to play even though today we were slightly better.”
Pirates have no time to drown their sorrows. AmaZulu are next on their schedule tomorrow in Durban followed by a return leg clash with Green Eagles.
“It certainly can’t be about me,” Mokwena said. “I am the last person to even think about myself, for us at this moment in time it is about how we help these players to be able to overcome the period that we currently face. How do we support them and how do we ensure that psychologically they don’t lose belief in themselves and the game model because when results don’t come you start to question and doubt, that doesn’t assist with regards to overcoming a situation.
For us, this isn’t about how do I feel, how am I adapting, at this moment in time I am just feeling for the players.”
Johannesburg – The three Krugersdorp serial killers who formed part of a Satanic cult dubbed "Electus Per Deus" (Chosen by God) and carried out a spate of murders in Krugersdorp were sentenced to life in prison in the high court in Johannesburg on Monday.
Judge Ellem Jacob Francis sentenced mastermind Cecilia Steyn to at least 13 life sentences while Zak Valentine was handed eight life sentences. Their co-accused Marcel Steyn was handed seven life sentences.
The trio were found guilty on 32 counts between them, including 11 of murder. The other counts include fraud, racketeering and robbery, which they committed between 2012 and 2016.
The judge described the case as the worst case he has presided over in his 18 years as a judge.
Marcel, who is only 21 years old, is believed to have been 14 when she and her accomplices went on their deadly spree.
During the sentencing proceedings, the court heard Marcel had the mindset of a 10-year-old child, that she had been brainwashed by her aunt Cecilia and also that she had a minor role in the gruesome crimes committed by the group.
Marcel’s mother, Marinda, as well as her brother Le Roux, were also part of the cult.
Marinda is currently serving 11 life terms and 115 years while Le Roux entered into a plea bargain arrangement with the State.
He was sentenced to 35 years in jail for seven murders, 10 years of which was suspended on condition that he testify at the trial.
Another member of the group, John Barnard, who also testified during the trial, is currently serving 20 years.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan is hoping that the next council meeting on the last day of this month could be where they ratify the name of the new Bafana Bafana head coach. It’s been two weeks now since Stuart Baxter resigned as the Bafana Bafana coach following the 2019 African […]
JOHANNESBURG – Players that did not feature for the Springboks in their last four Tests are unlikely to crack the nod for the 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus intimated it was unlikely he would call up hopefuls like Damian Willemse, Warren Whiteley or Aphiwe Dyantyi.
Erasmus said it would be difficult for players returning from injury to slot into the Springbok fold at the World Cup. Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was one of the only players that have been ‘fast-tracked’ with the inspirational leader making his return in the Green and Gold after only a few minutes playing for Western Province.
“Certain guys you just fast track, we fast-tracked Siya in a big way from 15 minutes of Currie Cup into Test match rugby,” Erasmus said.
“We know what we have in him and he is our captain so it is a special case. But with other guys, it is just tough to go from one game against Griquas into Test match rugby to playing against the All Blacks.
“I just see it tough for those guys to hop from that level to the next. Potential wise they are world-class it is just a timing thing.”
Erasmus was reluctant to discuss the make-up of his team ahead of the squad announcement on August 26.
But the Bok mentor did mention a few positions where he had already had his mind made up while the players that featured in the Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand and Argentina would be part of his plans.
“There are certain names that are obvious considering the 17 or 18 players we rested if you include Herschel Jantjies who got concussed during the week,” Erasmus said. “You can make conclusions out of what we have done.”
Cape Town – Murdered model Reeva Steenkamp’s family are planning a documentary series to tell her life story through the eyes of the people who loved her most – her family and close friends.
The family believes that while the murder and the subsequent trial made international headlines, the focus was on her killer, and did not give Reeva a voice.
“Through this documentary, we are determined to tell Reeva’s story, people will get to see another side that seeks to answer some of the questions that have been left unanswered, the truth and who Reeva was. She would want us to do this for her,” said June Steenkamp.
June has previously written a book titled Reeva: A Mother’s Story.
Steenkamp, who would have celebrated her 36th birthday on Monday, was killed by her boyfriend, Paralympian Oscar Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. He is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence for the murder.
The focus of the documentary series will be on Reeva’s story, the impact her murder and the subsequent trial on her parents, family and close friends. They believe that while the trial made history as the first murder trial ever to be televised live in South Africa, and made international headlines, it failed to reveal the truth of what happened that night.
Earlier this year, former Springbok rugby player Francois Hougaard told the Mail on Sunday rugby correspondent Nik Simon how Reeva’s death and the subsequent media frenzy, impacted his life. Hougaard had dated Reeva before she became romantically involved with Pistorius. The two remained friends and regularly spoke to each other on the phone.
In fact, it was widely speculated that Pistorius was jealous of their relationship and that he killed Reeva after seeing a text from Hougaard on her phone.
"Everyone was saying I sent Reeva a message and that’s why he shot her. I had nothing to do with her any more but it’s all people were asking me about. Mentally, that was a really tough thing to go through," Hougaard said during the interview.
‘My Name is Reeva’ will be produced by Warren Batchelor and Tony Miguel. Batchelor, who produced and directed ‘204 – Getting Away With Murder’, a documentary about mining magnate Brett Kebble’s death, will also direct ‘My Name is Reeva’.
The money for the documentary will be raised via crowdfunding platform Uprise Africa.
“Uprise.Africa is proud to be able to facilitate this project especially during Women’s Month on an issue that affects so many women in SA. Investment in this documentary should be seen as our gift to Reeva on what would have been her 36th birthday today. The funding will be open to private funders during the launch and will be open to the public in due course, concludes Tabassum Qadir, CEO of Uprise.Africa.
Sowing and reaping: It’s at the core of human society. In ancient times, agriculture helped make the first great civilizations possible.
Now, with the help of modern machinery and fertilizers, farm yields are so high that we produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet.
Yet, hunger remains stubborn.
Malnutrition is growing in some parts of the world. And, the planet’s land and water resources are so poorly used, according to a new UN report, that, as climate change puts ever-greater pressure on agriculture, the ability of humanity to feed itself is in peril.
We are reaping what we sow in another sense.
The report, published in summary form by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, magnifies a dual challenge: how to nourish a growing global population, but do so in a way that minimizes agriculture’s carbon footprint.
Answering that challenge requires a huge overhaul of how we use land and water for food production, experts say. And it also requires a hard look at who gets to eat what.
“What we eat influences what we grow or raise, which in turn influences how we use our land,” said Alexander Popp, head of the land use management group at the Potsdam Institute in Germany and one of the co-authors of the report. “You don’t want to harm more than you solve.”
The food production system accounts for somewhere between a quarter and a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the accounting method. But if agriculture is done right, experts say, it can be less of a climate change problem and more of a climate change solution.
The way forward, they point out, requires reducing planet-warming emissions, removing carbon from the atmosphere by storing it in trees or soil, and changing diets, especially among the world’s wealthy.
Better land management
Small farmers and pastoralists, particularly in the tropics, are among those who feel the impact of climate change most acutely. With rainfall more erratic in the era of climate change, those who rely on the rains are the most vulnerable.
The Food and Agriculture Organization said recently that hunger in much of sub-Saharan Africa is rising, with rates of malnutrition at nearly 20%. A hotter planet is already lowering crop yields in some parts of the world. Elsewhere, farmland is turning into desert or being eaten by a rising, salty sea.
However, research suggests that it is entirely possible to grow food that’s better for us and grow it in ways that are better for the land. Better land management techniques include limiting the use of fertilizers that contribute to emissions and planting crops that add carbon to the soil.
Scientists often refer to these as “natural climate solutions”, and they point out that sequestering carbon in the soil not only helps slow down climate change, it can also make the soil hardier to deal with extreme weather events and ultimately increase crop yields.
“Farming must work with nature, not against it,” Teresa Anderson, climate policy co-ordinator for the international humanitarian agency Action Aid, said. “The IPCC’s land report puts a big question mark on the future of industrial agriculture.”
Eat more plants
Compared with plant based foods, meat and dairy have a bigger emissions footprint — accounting for 14.5% of all greenhouse gases.
Beef and lamb have the greatest impact by a wide margin: 50g of beef protein generate more than 17kg, of carbon dioxide.
The same quantity of farmed fish produces about 3kg of carbon dioxide.
Compared with plant proteins, like lentils, animal protein in general takes a lot more land, energy and water to produce a pound of protein.
That’s not to say the world should impose a moratorium on meat and dairy production.
Livestock can be raised on lands that are too arid to grow crops, they can be fed differently so they produce lower methane emissions and they produce manure that can fertilize soil.
Perhaps most importantly, animal protein is vital nourishment for a hungry child and raising animals has been part of the culture and livelihood for millions of people around the world.
But if the heaviest meat eaters in places like the US and Australia cut back on meat, especially red meat, it would make a big difference.
Currently more than a quarter of the food produced rots in the fields, gets thrown away because it’s misshapen or bruised, or spoils in overstuffed refrigerators. Taken together, the amount of food that is wasted and unused accounts for close to one-tenth of global emissions.
Curbing food waste is arguably the single most effective thing that can be done at an individual or household level to slow down climate change.
CAPE TOWN –The current blackout of soccer matches on SABC television and radio is a terrible indictment of South African football – and a shameful way to treat fans of the “beautiful game”.
Worst of all, everyone seems to be blaming everyone else for the impasse. The cash-strapped SABC says they cannot enter into agreements which are not commercially viable. This comes after the broadcaster announced it had declined a R280m deal with SuperSport to screen PSL matches, claiming it was not viable.
The PSL keeps repeating that chairman Irvin Khoza is the only man who can comment on the matter, yet he was not available for comment on the farcical events surrounding the MTN8 situation last week, where SABC presenters could not mention the opening round of MTN8 games or even provide updates on the scores.
The PSL sponsors, including MTN and Absa, have voiced their concerns, but say their hands are tied and they cannot get directly involved, despite losing millions of rands in potential advertising revenue.
The simple fact of the matter is the majority of football-loving supporters in our country cannot afford DStv decoders. The result is that football, supposed to be a game for all the people, is now watched by the rich people.
One could make a strong argument that the rot really started when the public broadcaster lost the right to local soccer matches in the first place. Soccer is not an elite sport, and it should not be carried exclusively on any form of elite media.
A week or so ago Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa entered the fray, saying he will convene an urgent meeting with the SABC SuperSport the Premier Soccer League and the Department of Communications to discuss the blackout.
The sooner that meeting takes place the better. The minister must crack the whip and ensure that a deal is struck that benefits all South Africans.
Because right now the beautiful game is very far from beautiful in our country.
Kabul – At least 17 people were injured after multiple explosions triggered by previously placed explosive devices in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Monday.
The explosion in two parts of Jalalabad city, the capital of the province, took place as people were heading out to celebrate the centenary of Afghanistan’s independence from the British, the media office of Nangarhar’s governor said.
The statement added that six explosions had taken place, while six previously placed explosive devices were found and defused by Afghan security forces.
Ten of the 17 people injured in the incident were sent home after treatment, the statement said.
Both Islamic State and the Taliban are active in Nangarhar. The province is the birthplace of Islamic State and home to the terrorist group since its emergence in Afghanistan in early 2015.
Wine can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of how much you know about it. However, there are a few things that are handy to know if you really do love it.
We spoke to Zonnebloem’s winemaker, Kelly-Marie Jacobs about amazing things people do with wine that most of us probably do not know.
Use white wine to lighten up and ultimately remove red wine stains. But, best to do this as soon as the stain occurs – be it on your shirt, carpet or table cloth. Let the white wine sit on the red wine stain for a while before wiping off. Repeat. Finish with a bit of soda water to soak up the excess.
Poached eggs in red wine
For your next brunch date, try poaching your eggs in red wine. This is a traditional method of cooking eggs, in Burgundy, France. The eggs are then plated, with some bacon, onion, olives and heaps of fresh bread to soak up the wonderful red wine reduction sauce you have just cooked your eggs in.
White wine is also very good at removing greasy or oily stains, as the acidity and the alcohol in the wine is able to cut through the grease. Add a little baking soda for extra kick.
I for one always have empty wine bottles around the house. The bottle makes a great stand in for a rolling pin, be it empty or full, when making your own homemade paste or pastry crust.
Red red meat
Meat marinated in wine for up to six hours, not only softens up the meat, while making is ridiculously tasty, as well, but also eliminates the cancer causing compounds, by up to 90%, during the frying and grilling process.
Let there be light
Empty bottles can be cut to open up the bottom part, so that a small light bulb can be inserted and tired via the top opening of the bottle – this is a great conversation piece and a great way to remember and display the most delicious wines you have drunk.
JOHANNESBURG – The government and politicians are at great pains to explain why the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) should or must be nationalised. The real reason for them pushing so hard is because the Sarb is worth more than most of them think.
I looked at the investment case for the Sarb as a company. It is evident that a major turnaround strategy started to pay off for the Sarb Group since 2014, and although the capital-to-total-assets ratio remained at around 1 percent until 2016, the group’s capital and reserves improved by 30 percent to R8 290 million in 2016, from 2014’s lows. The return to profitability gained such strong momentum that the group’s profit after tax in the 2019 financial year was just R566m short of the group’s total capital and reserves in 2014. The group’s capital and reserves accumulated to over R20 billion in 2019, while the group’s ratio of capital-to-total-assets increased to a healthy 2.3 percent.
The dramatic turnaround followed after the Sarb group’s fortunes took a turn for the worst after 2009, as this once profitable institution made losses for five consecutive years from 2010 until 2014. This saw shareholders’ wealth as measured by capital and reserves being destroyed by more than 46 percent or R5.6bn from 2009 to 2014. The deterioration was even worse in terms of capital adequacy, as the ratio of shareholders’ interest to total assets fell to 1 percent from 3.3 percent in 2010, a 70 percent fall.
The Sarb itself was responsible for the ill fate of the group. From 2009 to 2014 the Sarb’s total assets grew by 10.2 percent per year to R561bn. Gross profits fell by 10.5 percent per year over the same period, while operating costs grew by a staggering 13.5 percent per year over the same period. Since 2014 the bank’s total assets grew by 7.3 percent, and gross revenue grew by 45 percent per year.
Operating costs increased by 8.9 percent per year. Shareholders’ interest (capital and reserves) ballooned from R5.2bn in 2014 to R17.1bn in 2019. An increase of 27 percent compounded per year.
The group’s capital and reserves were further constrained as despite the Sarb’s losses in the first half of the decade, some R272m was transferred to the government. In terms of the SA Reserve Bank Act 90 of 1989, “Of the surplus (if any) remaining at the end of a financial year of the bank after provision has been made for (a) bad and doubtful debts; (b) depreciation in assets; (c) gratuities or other pension benefits for its officers and employees; (d) all such items as are usually provided for by bankers; and (e) the payment to the shareholders out of net profits of a dividend at the rate of 10 percent per annum on the paid-up share capital of the bank, one-tenth shall be allocated to the reserve fund of the bank and nine-tenths shall be paid to the government.”
In contrast, the performance of the other companies in the Sarb Group, which include the South African Mint that produces circulation, bullion and collectable coins, the South African Bank Note Company, which produces banknotes, and the Corporation for Public Deposits which receives and invests call deposits from the government and other entities, softened the blow when the bank took a turn for the worst in the first half of this decade. Total assets grew from R9bn in 2009 to R40bn or by 35 percent per year from 2009 to 2014.
Gross profits grew by more than 16 percent per year over the same period, while operating costs grew by 13.6 percent and profit before tax grew by 21 percent per year. Profit to the owners, after non-controlling interests, grew by 9.2 percent per year to R200m.
Since 2014 the group’s other interests continued their impressive growth and profitability. Total assets grew by 13 percent per year and gross profit grew by 33 percent per year, operating costs increased by 25 percent per year. Shareholders’ interest (capital and reserves) grew from R1.2bn in 2014 to R3bn in 2019, an increase of 19 percent compounded per year.
Profit to the owners after non-controlling interests grew by 43 percent per year to R1.2m.
A huge success story that followed an era that could have devastated the Sarb, and threatened the economy.
But what was behind the change in fortunes? Gill Marcus was the Sarb governor from November 2009 to November 2014. She inherited the after-effects of the 2008/9 global financial crisis, and her team needed to deal with it. Since 2014 under the leadership of Governor Lesetja Kganyago, it is evident that the group, and specifically the Sarb has returned to its former glory with costs under control, margins restored, and adequate capital and reserves available for future growth and potential external financial crises.
If the current price-to-earnings valuation metric of 10.27 based on trailing 12-month earnings for the FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index is applied to the after-tax profit of R5.8m attributable to the parent of the Sarb Group for the 2019 financial year, the Sarb Group could attain a total market capitalisation of more than R59bn, if it was listed on the JSE.
The Sarb on its own could be worth over R46bn, after allowing for the transfer to the government. On a price to net-asset-value ratio basis, it works out that the Sarb Group could be valued at around three times, while the Sarb’s ratio would be 2.7 times.
The snag is, how do you unlock the value of the Sarb Group? The government and Sarb shareholders are unable to get their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. The Sarb Group’s auditors refers to the “parent” in the financial statements, but there is no apparent parent. Yes, the Sarb Group is an orphan.
The Sarb Group’s issued and paid-up shares amount to 2 million of R1 each, and are owned by individual shareholders whose maximum exposure is limited to 10000 shares each. The voting powers are vested in the individual shareholders and they are collectively entitled to a maximum dividend of a mere R200 000 per year. In contrast, the government is entitled to nine-tenths of net profits paid, while one-tenth is allocated to the reserve fund of the Sarb. So the government and the Sarb shareholders are effectively neutralised by the executive and non-executive directors of the bank, as they can decide to limit the pay out of net profits at their will and at their discretion.
There is a remedy in the act though. The bank can be placed in liquidation by an act of Parliament. “In the event of liquidation, the reserve fund and surplus assets (if any) of the bank shall, subject to the provisions, be divided between the government and shareholders in the proportion of 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively.” The bottom line of the provisions is that if the average price of your Sarb shares over the past 12 months was R100 per share, it will mean that in the case of liquidation the Sarb shareholders will be entitled to R200m if the reserve fund and surplus assets exceed R500m. If the total capital and reserves of the Sarb Group amount to the current R20.1bn and can be liquidated, it means that the government will be entitled to R19.9bn.
But it is unlikely that a liquidation call will be made, unless the Sarb shareholders and the government can come up with a scheme of arrangement whereby the Sarb is effectively liquidated, but continues with its normal operations afterwards, without tarnishing the bank and the country’s image. But there is one option that they (the shareholders and the government) can pursue.
The shareholders can agree to split the bank; the government foregoes its entitlements to the profits of the remaining assets, the remaining assets of the group are listed and the 40:60 split (as per the liquidation option) becomes effective whereby the Sarb shareholders obtain a 40 percent interest and the government a 60 percent holding in the listed company.
Yes, no nationalisation and the government gets the bank’s capital and reserves to the value of R17bn on its books, plus a 60 percent interest in the listed remnants of the Sarb Group. The value for the government goes far beyond the R17bn plus though. Where the government scored R2.5bn in tax and Sarb transfer in 2019, a 100 percent holding in the bank would have given it access to the bank’s 2019 profit before tax of more than R6bn. The government may therefore leverage the capital and reserves of the bank to such an extent that virtually no tax is paid.
Ryk de Klerk is an analyst-at-large. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. His views expressed are his own. Consult your broker and/or investment adviser for advice. At the time of writing the author held no financial interest in the SARB Group.
CAPE TOWN – What now for Cape Town City after surrendering their MTN8 crown in a 2-0 home quarter-final defeat to Polokwane City at Newlands Stadium on Saturday?
There was hardly a positive for coach Benni McCarthy ahead of tomorrow’s Premiership away clash with champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
“What can I say about our performance? We were not in the game. It was a bad day,” said McCarthy.
“It was a tough game. I’m very disappointed with our application in the first half. Everything that we said in the dressing room, what not to expect, what not to do, they’ve gone and done and allowed these people to come and dictate and control the game.”
City could have lost by a couple more had goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh not pulled of another penalty save and come off his line to force a shot wide. The tall Dutchman can reflect on another top showing. Ex-Ajax Cape Town player Tashreeq Morris made his debut but was hardly a threat. He was replaced by Surprise Ralani 10 minutes into the second half.
Strikers Kermit Erasmus and Siphelele Mthembu came on for forward Chris David and defender Ebrahim Seedat without the desired returns. Playing two wingers Gift Links and Craig Martin also amounted to little.
Thato Mokeke did return to the run-on XI and partner Zukile Kewuti in midfield, but both had little impact on proceedings.
City have won one of their two league matches heading into the bout with the Brazilians, who remain unbeaten.
Next, to herbs – microgreens are some of the easiest edible plants that you can grow indoors – and some believe even easier.
Check the menu of a fine restaurant or the produce section of a speciality grocery store, and you’re likely to spy microgreens: tiny, delicate greens that add colour, texture and flavour to a dish as a garnish or ingredient.
What are microgreens?
Also known as "vegetable confetti", microgreens are a generic term for immature greens, harvested soon after their sprouting stage, typically within 10-15 days when the first two seed leaves, also known as cotyledons, have formed.
Microgreens are sometimes confused with sprouts – which are germinated seeds that are eaten root, seed and shoot. Big on nutrition and flavour, microgreens can be expensive to purchase.
However, they can be grown cost-effectively at home, in a tiny space and with simple supplies. If you have a sunny windowsill, a shallow container, some potting mix and suitable seeds, you’ve got all the essentials for growing your own microgreens.
Among the easiest and fastest-growing crops, microgreens offer a palette of fresh flavours, from mild to spicy, and inspire repeated plantings for an ongoing supply of fresh greens for creative uses.
Which seeds work best?
Salad greens, leafy vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers can be grown as microgreens, though some varieties are better suited than others. Beginners often start by growing one type of seed, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, radish, swiss chard, sunflower or cress – among the easiest-to-grow varieties of microgreens – in a single container.
You can also find seeds for salad mixes and specially selected microgreen mixes that combine greens with similar growth rates, compatible flavours and beautiful colouring including reds, purples and greens. Since they were created with grower success in mind, they’re an excellent choice for beginners.
Here’s how to grow microgreens indoors:
Start by ensuring you have a warm, sunny windowsill and some small, clean containers. Plastic take-out dishes work well, as do clear fruit or salad boxes. If your chosen container doesn’t have built-in drainage, poke a few drainage holes in the bottom. Then, prepare to plant:
• Read the seed packet to see if there are any special instructions.
• Cover the bottom of the container with a layer (approx. 3 – 4cm) of moistened potting soil or germination mix. A good option is coco peat, palm peat or coco husk. Peat, which is an organic growing medium, has a good water retention quality and allows germination to happen considerably faster. Flatten and level it with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, taking care not to over-compress the medium. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil or peat and gently press in, using your hand or the cardboard.
• Cover the seeds with a thin layer of vermiculite which will act like a warm blanket for the seeds and promote fast-acting germination. Dampen the surface by spraying a little bit of water. (Use a spray bottle with a fine mist)
• While waiting for sprouts to appear, usually within three to seven days, use the mister once a day to keep the soil moist but not wet.
• Once seeds have sprouted, continue to mist once a day.
• Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive. In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. If your space is too shaded, consider investing in a grow light. Depending upon the type of seeds you’ve selected, your microgreens will be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness. Then grab your scissors and snip the greens just above the soil line. Don’t forget to repeat the process as you can’t use the germinated seedlings once you have harvested the micro leaves.
For more gardening tips and information, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za or join the conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa
MILAN – Italy coach Conor O’Shea has identified an upset win over South Africa as a possible path out of a tough Pool B at the Rugby World Cup after naming his squad for Japan.
The Italians have been drawn with world champions New Zealand, twice former champions the Springboks, Namibia and Canada for the opening stage of the Sept. 20-Nov. 2 tournament.
With only two teams making it out of each pool and into the quarter-finals, the Italians must defy the odds to reach the knockout stage for the first time in nine World Cups.
O’Shea, though, said the improvement he had overseen since taking over in 2016 meant the Azzurri had a chance of making the last eight if they played at their very best.
"Compared to when I started my journey here, we now definitely have a better team, with more internal competition and much improved performances," the Irish coach said.
"Recently, we have shown that we can play against the top teams when we play our best game.
"At the World Cup we absolutely must win against Namibia and Canada and then focus on the other two big challenges we have. I believe that against South Africa, with this team, we can create an opportunity on our day."
Italy beat South Africa 20-18 in Florence in O’Shea’s first year in charge but have never got so much as a draw against New Zealand in 15 attempts.
A 13-try, 85-15 victory over Russia at San Benedetto del Tronto on Saturday should send the Italians off to Japan with a spring in their step.
O’Shea said choosing his 31-man squad, and informing the players that missed out, had been the toughest job he had faced in his rugby career.
Number eight Sergio Parisse will captain the squad at his fifth World Cup and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini was also selected despite suffering a serious knee injury in the Six Nations earlier this year.
Parisse, Ghiraldini and utility forward Alessandro Zanni, who have all played more than 100 times for their country, will form an experienced core to a youthful squad.
"Leo, together with Parisse and Zanni, are playing the last matches in the Italy shirt of their extraordinary careers," O’Shea added.
"We want to make their dreams come true and we have the cards to be able to succeed."
Italy open their World Cup campaign against Namibia in Osaka on Sept 22.
The Italy squad:
Forwards – Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Zani, Luca Bigi, Oliviero Fabiani, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse, Jake Polledri, Abraham Steyn
Kabul, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s president is vowing to eliminate all safe havens of the Islamic State group as the country marks a subdued 100th Independence Day after a horrific wedding attack claimed by the local IS affiliate.
President Ashraf Ghani’s comments Monday come as Afghanistan mourns at least 63 people killed in the Kabul bombing.
Many outraged Afghans ask whether an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end nearly 18 years of fighting will bring peace to long-suffering civilians.
A sharply worded Taliban statement questions why the U.S. failed to identify the attackers in advance. Another Taliban statement marking independence says to "leave Afghanistan to the Afghans."
The U.S. envoy in talks with the Taliban says the peace process should be accelerated to help Afghanistan defeat the IS affiliate.
LONDON – There have been few more explosive test debuts than the one made by England’s Jofra Archer in the second match of the Ashes series against Australia at Lord’s.
Although England failed to win the match, Archer’s hostile spell on the fourth day served notice that the 24-year-old Barbados-born fast bowler has the ability to enjoy a stellar career.
The bare statistics do not tell the whole story.
Archer took two wickets in the first innings and three in the second as Australia limped to 154 for six to force a draw on Sunday and remain 1-0 up in the series.
But he left a trail of devastation in his wake, hitting Australia’s leading batsman Steve Smith with a sickening blow to the neck which forced him to retire hurt.
Smith returned to the crease but awoke on Sunday morning suffering from concussion symptoms which ruled him out of the rest of the match.
Archer also struck Smith on the forearm and Marnus Labuschagne, test cricket’s first substitute in place of Smith, on the helmet with the second ball he faced.
His team mates were impressed.
“Out on the field Jofra has clearly made a big impact,” England captain Joe Root said. “The dynamic he adds to the bowling attack is fantastic. What a couple of brilliant spells we have seen from him already! It is an exciting prospect, going into the rest of the series.”
England all-rounder Ben Stokes described Archer’s performance as “frightening”.
“I am not sure there will be a better debut in terms of announcing yourself in the team,” Stokes said. “The spell was incredible to watch. We are very lucky he is in our team. He gives you an extra dimension.”
Many of the Australian team have played with Archer in the Indian premier League and had known what to expect.
“It didn’t surprise us,” captain Tim Paine said. “We’ve seen Jofra in Australia for a few years now. We know the package he brings. It’s something every team wants to have.”
Archer contributed hugely to England’s World Cup victory this year, bowling the Super Over in the final against New Zealand, and has the potential to make an even bigger impact in the longest format of the game.
“With Archer, I am excited for the next few years of test match cricket. We have got a superstar,” former England captain Michael Vaughan, who led his team to victory in the 2005 Ashes, told the BBC.
CINCINNATI – Russian Daniil Medvedev survived cramps and tantrum where he cracked a racquet to clinch his first Masters 1000 title on Sunday with a 7-6(3) 6-4 win over David Goffin in the final of the Cincinnati Masters.
Medvedev saved two breaks points while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set before winning the next four, three of them with aces to close out his dogged Belgian opponent.
It was the second title of the year for Medvedev, who had lost on the past two Sundays, to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafa Nadal in Montreal.
“It would be not a good feeling if I lost three finals in a row so it’s just a relief and I’m so happy,” he said in a courtside interview with ESPN after playing his 16th match in 20 days. I started feeling cramps at 5-3 (in the second set), first time in three weeks I started cramping, probably because of the nerves and it’s been 24 days in a row I played tennis.
“I started cramping quite hard, so last game, 15-40, I know if it’s going to be five-all I’m in a bad position.
“I made four serves that he didn’t return and three of them were aces. It’s just unbelievable.”
The pressure perhaps showed in the final game when Medvedev hurled his racquet to the ground after losing a point, but the temper tantrum was short lived and he regrouped quickly to clinch his fifth title in two years.
Earlier, Goffin did well to force a first set tiebreak by holding serve, including winning a 29-rally point.
But the Belgian, without a victory since 2017, lost the tiebreak on a double-fault.
Medvedev, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, plans a short rest before the U.S. Open starts in eight days.
“I need some days off,” he said. “I’ve been playing tennis for so long in a row. I just need to stay in the bed for a few days watching the TV 24 hours a day.
“Hopefully I can regroup and get to the U.S. Open fresh.”
The City of Ekurhuleni has established a dedicated Ethics Office to institutionalize ethics and oversee the implementation of the City’s Integrity Framework.
Ekurhuleni believes this is the step in the right direction to bolster a strong ethical culture and a zero tolerance to Fraud and Corruption posture.
At the centre of the Ethics Office is a clarion call to all employees and suppliers to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct.
Furthermore, the City is working closely with the Ethics Institute and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), to capacitate ethics officers, assess governance structures and develop ethics strategies to address the risks facing the City.
The pursuit of clean corporate governance is inspired by Executive Mayor Cllr Mzwandile Masina, who provided leadership by speaking against any manifestation of corruption.
“We are continuously looking for ways to improve good governance and quality service delivery in our City. It is our mission to promote active citizenship in the City of Ekurhuleni, and this includes members of the public assisting us by reporting incidences of fraud and corruption in Government. We call upon the public to report any behaviour, which is suspected to be unlawful and unethical. Speak up! If you see it or hear it, report it! Call the City’s Anti-Fraud Hotline on 0800 102 201 to report fraud and corruption,” the Mayor said.
Since the launch of the Ethics/Anti-fraud Program in 2015 there has been heightened awareness of the Hotline, an increase in declarations of financial interest submitted and private work disclosures.
Accordingly, the City has clamped down on perpetrators through disciplinary processes; swift arrests in collaboration with the SAPS and recoveries of money.
Be vigilant and be on the lookout for fraudsters and corrupt individuals! Never give or accept a bribe! The City of Ekurhuleni will never request a fee or cash in order for us to give our people jobs. We will not send out unsolicited e-mails or other messages asking people to open a personal bank account, transfer money to officials or ask for facilitation payments.
If you See it, Report it!
How to report suspected fraud and corruption
To Report Fraud & Corruption Anonymously Call the Anti-Fraud Hotline Toll Free Number 0800 102 201. For more information, contact us on email@example.com or go to our Website www.ekurhuleni.gov.za
Mthatha – Hundreds of people descended onto Mthatha Airport in the Eastern Cape on Sunday afternoon to welcome newly crowned Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, as she arrived from Johannesburg to her home province, to celebrate her crown with her family.
Tunzi’s flight was scheduled to arrive at exactly 5.10pm and the crowd was already waiting with excitement for her arrival. People from her village, Sidwadweni in Tsolo, could not contain their excitement as they ululated and broke into traditional songs amid the loud blare of Gqom music coming a long convoy of cars entering the airport parking lot.
“Almost everyone from eSidwadweni is here, we are very proud of her achievement. Look around, all the cars from our village are here; they brought the village residents here for free to come and welcome her home,” said Nosandiso Ningiza, who claimed to be Zozi’s cousin.
Present at the airport to welcome the new Miss SA were Mhlontlo Local Municipality Mayor Nompumelelo Dywili, King Sabata Dalindyebo Mayor Nyaniso Nelani and praise poet Zolani Mkiva.
Talking to the scores of fans at the airport, Tunzi said it was humbling that such a huge crowd was present at the airport.
“It is such an honour for me to arrive to such a crowd, I expected people to be here but not to this magnitude. The whole week has been a new experience for me and I am truly tired. Please join me and my family tomorrow at my village, Sidwadweni, as I will be hosting a celebratory function with my family,” said Tunzi.
Tunzi will spend the night in Sidwadweni, where she will wake up to a traditional ceremony thanking ancestors for the achievement, together with the local chief, prior to heading to the small town of Dutywa, where she grew up with her teacher mother.
The town of Dutywa, on the N2 from Mthatha to East London, is expected to come to a standstill as the town welcomes Miss South Africa at 1pm with gospel artists such Betusile Mcinga, Bunono, Anathi and many more expected.