Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 26 January, 2018.
The latest from Zitamar News:
Another oil major quits exploration in Mozambique
Statoil quits Mozambique after 2 years of frustrating negotiations
Mozambican businesses complain of discrimination by oil multinationals
Sasol in the firing line as Mozambican entrepreneurs bemoan lack of local content legislation
VTB chief plans to meet Mozambique president to urge debt negotiation
Andrey Kostin is confident his bank has no case to answer in FBI investigation
The best of the rest:
Nampula second round looks inevitable
The election results in Nampula are yet to be formally announced, but a set of unverified figures being widely circulated shows the Frelimo candidate having won 43.5% of the vote, followed by Renamo’s candidate with 38.9%. At this stage it seems certain there will be a run-off between those two, with a date to be set by the Council of Ministers within 30 days, according to the election law.
The second round is as unpredictable as the first was, with no clarity on where the MDM’s votes, or those of the other two candidates, will go. Some of them are ‘opposition’ votes that will go to Renamo, but some of them will have come from voters who didn’t want to vote for Frelimo, but also find Renamo completely unpalatable. For that reason, turnout could be even lower than the roughly 25% seen in this week’s first round.
Cyril Ramaphosa sceptical of South Africa nuclear plans (Engineering News)
Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president-in-waiting following his election as president of the ruling ANC party at the end of last year, said in Davos yesterday that South Africa has “excess power and we have no money for major nuclear plant building” – pouring cold water on current president Jacob Zuma’s much-criticised plans to buy Russian-built nuclear reactors.
The news is significant for Mozambique, which would like its gas to play a major role in South Africa’s future energy provision. If the nuclear plans are cancelled, and power utility Eskom – whose board was sacked this month – can be returned to financial health, then the conditions might be in place for a gas pipeline all the way from the Rovuma Basin to South Africa.
Anadarko donates $150k to fight hunger in Palma and Mocimboa da Praia (O País)
The Anadarko-led Mozambique LNG project has donated $150,000, to be administered by Pathfinder International, to fight child malnutrition in the districts of Palma, where its onshore gas liquefaction facility will be located, and Mocimboa da Praia, the district to the south that has been home to an Islamist insurgency.
It seems like a sensible ‘hearts and minds’ initiative in an area which is already starting to feel the ill effects of being home to oil and gas exploration. The benefits of the very expensive resettlement around Afungi will be felt by only the very local community – whereas the companies (and the government) need to win over the wider area to get the popular consent that the project needs.
Immigration authorities fined 15,000 foreigners last year (MediaFax)
The Mozambican immigration authorities fined more than 15,000 foreigners around 11 million meticais last year for various infringements including overstaying in the country, having invalid residency permits, and not informing the authorities when they changed their address. Indians made up 39% of the total fined, followed by Portuguese (28%) and Pakistanis (20%).
The regime for foreign workers’ residency has recently changed – Zitamar has an article forthcoming on the topic – and the confusion could potentially lead to even more infringements in the coming year.
Organic sugar refinery to start up in April (Diario de Mocambique)
A new sugar refinery, owned by Ecofarma Moçambique, will begin a pilot operation in April this year in Chemba, Sofala province. The factory’s capacity should be 50 tonnes per day, and it will be the third refinery in Sofala – after the Açucareira de Moçambique, in Dondo, and the Companhia de Sena, in Marromeu district.
- Today: The Nampula provincial election commission should announce the official results from Nampula City’s mayoral by-election
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