Archive for March, 2009

Mar 31 2009

Lions Tour to SA lands “strange” sponsor

Published by under More News,Opinion

The organisers of the upcoming British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour to South Africa have signed a fourth sponsor – commodities trader Trafigura. The company is also sponsor of the Canadian rugby team. 

The interesting aspect here is the not-too-positive headlines (understatement) this company has made in the past 8 years. Read all about it here

In my view, this company would never have been accepted as the sponsor of a national team of, for instance, Germany. Why? Because of the extremely bad press the company got in Germany over a long period for its role in the Ivory Coast toxic spill in 2006, when at least 10 people died.

But, Germany is Germany and the British are obviously not as “principled” today as they used to be in days gone by. Money talks.   

The tour will take place between May 30 and July 4. On the official tour website, the upcoming tour is called “the sporting event of 2009″. About 50,000 fans are expected to travel to South Africa from Britain and Ireland to watch the games. 

The UK-SA wine partnership Firstcape is another sponsor.

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Mar 31 2009

China Mobile Communications denies MTN deal

Published by under Companies,More News

China Mobile Communications, the world’s biggest mobile company, denied it was planning to buy MTN Group’s interests in Iran, Syria and Sudan for around $2 billion, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

MTN Group is Africa’s biggest mobile phone company. The denial followed a report to this effect in the South China Morning Post.

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Mar 28 2009

SA still undecided about Minty

Published by under South Africa,Top Stories

After the second round of voting for a new director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna also failed to produce the required two-thirds majority on Friday, the agency opted for a new vote in May and called for nominations of candidates again. [Read on]

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Mar 27 2009

Correction: I got the Claas Daun story wrong

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

I got one on the chin today from Fried Moeller, CEO of KAP Beteiligungs AG here in Germany, who pointed a few factual errors out in my Claas Daun story (below). I apologised.

You’ll find his comment (and my reaction to his comment) below the story.

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Mar 26 2009

India to train Namibian diamond cutters

Published by under Companies,More News

India will set up diamond cutting and polishing institutes to train Africans and so help diamond mining countries in Africa move up the value chain, India’s external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delphi on Monday.

He was speaking at the India-Africa Project Conclave, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank, attended by 450 businessmen, ministers and officials of African countries, as well as 300 Indians. The conference was organised to strengthen business ties between India and Africa.

“As part of our philosophy of sharing our knowledge with others, and in pursuance of our policy to increase capacity building in Africa, my government has favorably considered the request of some African countries to set up diamond cutting and polishing institutes for training of their personnel in cutting and polishing skills,” he said. 

India is the world’s largest importer of rough diamonds and exporter of cut and polished diamonds, accounting for over 90 percent of the international market. India sources most of its raw diamonds from Africa.

Namibia and India have already had follow-up talks on a training facility to polish and cut diamonds – a step that could lead to direct imports of diamonds from Africa to India, cutting out middlemen along the way.

India also offered its expertise in mining technologies to African diamond producing countries like Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Congo, reported The Gaea News.

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Mar 26 2009

Denel Munitions’ German owner goes for growth

Published by under Companies,More News

Rheinmetall AG, the listed German company holding the majority share in Denel Munitions, released its annual results for 2008 earlier this week.

Thanks to a strong performance by the division Rheinmetall Defence, one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of land forces weaponry and the division to which Denel Munitions belongs, the group’s annual results contained no nasty surprises.  

Rheinmetall Automotive, the other division in the company, had a less enjoyable time. 

While sales of the division Defence rose 3%, it dropped 9% in the division Automotive, enabling Defence to increase its share of group sales from 44% to 47%. 

“Our defence business is independent of general economic conditions, which pushes us over difficult situations. Therefore, we will push ahead with the internationalisation and growth of Defence,” said CEO Klaus Eberhardt.  

In short, good news for Denel HQ from Germany.

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Mar 26 2009

India drops demand for profit of Sasol plant

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

The Indian government has dropped its demand for a share in the profit of the $18 billion coal-to-liquid (CTL) petroleum plant to be built by a Tata Sons/Sasol joint venture called Strategic Energy Technology Systems (SETSL) in Orissa, India. [Read on]

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Mar 26 2009

Nando’s UK voted ‘top employer’

Published by under Companies,More News

In February 2009 Nando’s in the UK was singled out as one of the best places to work at by the Best Companies Annual Accreditation Awards.

Nando’s is a South African-born and bred franchise restaurant chain, which expanded across the borders of the country and now runs franchises in 25 countries outside SA. The first Nando’s opened in the UK in 1992 (in Ealing). 

The Best Companies Annual Accreditation Awards measures the level of employee engagement in the business, with companies rated according to their ability to inspire staff, encourage development, provide excellent customer service and build strong teams. 

“This is an unbiased and independent guide to some of the UK’s best work places for job seekers and graduates. The review process includes a survey on the organisation, but at least 90% of the company score comes from employee feedback. Employee surveys ask for feedback on eight key factors, namely leadership, my manager, personal growth, well-being, my team, giving something back, my company and fair deal. Our three-star rating is a huge pat on the back for everyone at Nando’s and proves that listening to our teams, creating a fun environment to work in and focusing on delivering great customer service, can deliver great results,” the company said.

No wonder ever more Nando’s outlets are opening in the UK.

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