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ArcelorMittal South Africa to close mills, review largest plant

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(Reuters) – ArcelorMittal South Africa is planning to shut two mills and is reviewing operations at its largest plant, it said on Monday, as the money-losing unit of the world’s biggest steelmaker struggles with weak demand and lower prices.

A worker holds his helmet as he listens to French President's speech during a visit at ArcelorMittal steel factory in Florange, Eastern France, September 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

A worker holds his helmet as he listens to French President’s speech during a visit at ArcelorMittal steel factory in Florange, Eastern France, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Shares in the South African division of ArcelorMittal slumped 23 percent in Johannesburg to a 13-year low of 9.01 rand after the news.

ArcelorMittal said in a statement that trading conditions had continued to worsen since it started reviewing its long steel business in July, adding that higher South African import duties would only bring relief over the medium to long term.

The steel firm said it had started discussions with unions about the closure of two mills, cutting as many as 400 jobs, at its plant in Vereeniging, about 60 km south of Johannesburg.

The steelmaker has warned in the past it could close the entire Vereeniging plant, putting 1,200 jobs at risk.

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Operations at the company’s largest plant, in the nearby industrial town of Vanderbijlpark, continue to be unprofitable and will be reviewed before the end of October, the firm said.

“The company will first consider implementing alternatives before retrenchments are implemented, as a last resort,” it said on Monday.

The Vanderbijlpark review will involve the plant’s fixed cost structure and its layout and is unlikely to look at reducing labour, Themba Nkosi, the South African steelmaker’s head of human resources corporate affairs, told Reuters.

Shares in ArcelorMittal recovered slightly to trade 16.2 percent down at 9.81 rand by 1309 GMT.

“There is a lot of selling pressure from shareholders who are now getting concerned that the steel industry is on the precipice of collapse,” said Nicholas Sorour, a portfolio manager at Sasfin Securities.

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South Africa last week imposed a 10 percent import tariff on steel, the maximum level allowed by the World Trade Organisation, in line with its steel-making peers..

ArcelorMittal has also launched applications with South Africa’s state-run international trade commission to impose anti-dumping duties on cheap Chinese steel.

 

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Singer Bruno K Exposed For Neglecting His Son, Claims He Only Has One Child

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The internet has been abuzz following accusations leveled against Bruno Kiggundu, popularly known as Bruno K, over his alleged neglect of his son, Seth Kiggundu. In a tweet, a user identified as Keith alleged that Bruno K had abandoned his only son, Seth, and only pays attention to his daughter, Briella.

Keith claimed that Vanessa, his best friend, had a baby boy with Bruno K, and the singer had refused to fulfill his parental responsibilities towards Seth. He further accused Bruno of making Vanessa’s life difficult in 2022, which caused her to loathe the singer.

While it is essential to respect the baby’s privacy, it is crucial to hold public figures accountable for their actions, especially when they involve the welfare of children. The allegations against Bruno K are serious and should not be taken lightly.

Child abandonment is a severe issue that affects many children worldwide. It is a form of child neglect that can lead to adverse effects on a child’s development, including emotional and behavioral problems. Children who are abandoned by their parents may experience feelings of rejection, anger, and low self-esteem, which can lead to depression and anxiety.

As a public figure, Bruno K has a responsibility to set a good example for his fans and followers, especially young people. Neglecting one’s child is not only morally wrong but also illegal under Ugandan law. The Children’s Act of Uganda provides that every child has the right to parental care and protection, and any parent who neglects their child can be charged with child abuse.

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It is not clear whether the allegations against Bruno K are true, but if they are, he should take responsibility for his actions and do the right thing for his son. Children need both parents to grow up happy and healthy, and neglecting one’s child is unacceptable.

In conclusion, the allegations against Bruno K are serious, and if true, they represent a worrying trend of child neglect in Uganda. As a society, we must hold public figures accountable for their actions and demand that they do the right thing for their children. Let us all strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for all children, regardless of their family background.

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Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among Orders Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi To Stop Making Excuses For Not Establishing The Tribunal

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Speaker of parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among has ordered the Minister of Information, Communications, Technology, and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi to stop making excuses for not establishing the tribunal which she said has been pending for a long.

The speaker’s order followed Dr. Chris Baryomunsi’s attribution of the delay to create the Uganda Communications Tribunal to the recent Cabinet decision on the rationalization of agencies.

The speaker of Parliament Among emphasized the need for the tribunal in place.

“We need a tribunal. How sure are you that we are going to rationalize [government agencies]? We want a tribunal in UCC; we cannot do ad-hoc kind of operations,” Among said.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Act makes provision for the creation of a tribunal that is supposed to handle complaints relating to the decisions of UCC as provided under Sections 60 and 64 of the Act.

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“Work [to create a tribunal] was undertaken by my ministry but we are discussing it in the context of rationalization. The Executive is undertaking the rationalization exercise where agencies and departments are being reviewed and we couldn’t proceed to establish the tribunal. The cabinet cannot allow us to create new agencies,” Baryomunsi said. or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.

He said this during the Wednesday, 22 March 20223 plenary sitting where he tabled the Uganda Communications (Fees and Fines) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.
The regulations provide for fees and fines to be paid by telecommunication and broadcasting companies for spectrum or frequency access in order to improve telecommunication services.

His response was prompted by the Leader of Opposition (LOP), Hon. Mathias Mpuuga who accused the minister of ‘sleeping on the job’ by failing to fulfill the provisions of the UCC Act in regard to the creation of the communications tribunal.

“We have raised severally in our alternative policies the question of the minister failing to appoint the UCC tribunal. The minister is now the tribunal; he is acting as the complainant, prosecutor, and judge at the same time. The Ministry [of ICT] is holding media houses at ransom with no recourse to this tribunal,” Mpuuga said.

The Speaker referred the Regulations to the Committee on ICT and National Guidance for scrutiny with a strong caution to UCC not to start collecting fees until Parliament approves the regulations.
Section 93 of the UCC Act, 2013 states that, ‘the minister may, after consultation with the Commission and with the approval of Parliament, by statutory instrument, make regulations for better carrying into effect the provisions of this Act’.

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Anti-gay Bill Will Impinge Upon Universal Human Rights, Jeopardize Progress In Fight Against HIV/AIDS In Uganda-White House

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The White House and the European Union (EU) have joined the United Nations (UN) and other human rights groups in condemning the just passed Anti-homosexuality Bill.

The Bill that awaits assent from the president was passed by MPs on Tuesday night after a seven-hour heated session.

The bill introduces stricter penalties for people engaged in same-sex activities in Uganda including the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.

It also proposes life in prison for the offense of “homosexuality” and up to 10 years in jail for attempted homosexuality.

Now White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre says the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.

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She warns that this will not only impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS but will also deter tourism and damage Uganda’s international reputation.

“We have great concerns with the passage of the Anti-homosexuality Act by the parliament of Uganda and increasing violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons,” Karine said.

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