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Finweek - EnglishFinweek - English

Finweek - English 21-mar-19

Finweek is South Africa’s leading financial weekly magazine focusing on investment. With its brisk, creative and authoritative analysis of business and investment issues, it’s an essential business tool in the daily battle for competitive advantage. Today's business decision-makers have to cope with increased pressure on their time and are expected, more than ever before, to succeed in the face of stiffer competition. Finweek provides relevant information in quick bytes, along with award-winning investment advice.

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access_time2 min.
from the editor

I am going to stick my neck out and say it: It’s a disgrace that government has to police South Africans to pay each other a decent wage. Coming into effect on 1 January, the national minimum wage (NMW) for workers in most sectors is R20 per hour, or R3 500 per month depending on the amount of hours worked. For farmworkers the hourly rate is R18, and for domestic workers R15. But in March, government had to put out a statement on what it called “the growing practice of deliberately dodging labour laws, especially the NMW Act”. It said that the department of labour was “in the process of naming and shaming employers who fail to comply by publishing them on the department’s website”. According to the post on government’s website “about three…

access_time4 min.
how celebrities can save your life

measles killed 72 children and adults in Europe in 2018. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of people infected with the virus in 2018 was the highest this decade: three times the total reported in 2017 and 15 times the record-low number of people affected in 2016. This has happened despite a higher average number of immunisations across Europe. According to WHO and UNICEF estimates, the number of children in the region who received a second dose of measles-containing vaccines has risen from 73% in 2009 to 90% by 2018. So how is it possible that more immunisation could still result in the rapid escalation of measles cases? The answer lies in the distribution of immunisations. Whereas there are many communities that immunise fully, several pockets of…

access_time4 min.
in brief

“THIS COMMISSION IS NOT THE APPROPRIATE FORUM FOR MY POLITICAL DETRACTORS TO AIR THEIR VIEWS OF MY PERFORMANCE IN GOVERNMENT. IT IS OF NO ASSISTANCE TO THE COMMISSION.” Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan in an affidavit filed with the state-capture commission. The affidavit was made public on 13 March as the bitter battle between Gordhan and axed Sars commissioner Tom Moyane continues. As reported by Business Day, Gordhan filed the affidavit in response to Moyane’s application to have him cross-examined before the commission. Gordhan described it as “a poorly disguised attempt to use the commission as a political platform by Mr Moyane, through his legal representatives”. “WE SOLD WHAT WE COULD NOT DELIVER.”- Acting chair of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), Neville Mompati, as quoted in Business Day, commenting before Parliament’s…

access_time4 min.
keyless technology eases property management

jacquis Tolsma launched OPEN, a company that specialises in access management, two years ago, after forgetting his keys at a friend’s house. “The incident made me identify a gap in the market for technology that allowed people to open any door or gate from anywhere in the world,” Tolsma says. Tolsma’s solution supplies people with access pin codes via a user-friendly app. The pin codes may be valid for anything from a day to a year, depending on the requirement, and even automatically change every day with the user receiving an SMS 30 minutes before the access period. As such, the technology allows guesthouses and Airbnb owners to forego the headache of lost keys and having to be present for key hand-overs. It also allows armed response officers or the police to…

access_time3 min.
no ‘sa-off’ strategy at south32

one of the biggest events in SA’s coal mining sector this year is the sale of South32’s South African Energy Coal (SAEC), a division of the Perth-headquartered company that produces about 28m tonnes a year (Mt/y) of thermal coal, of which approximately half is sold to Eskom. While the sale is going to create huge opportunity for the successful buyer or consortium that buys it, it also raises questions about South32’s future interest in the country considering that of all its new business spend so far this year – equal to about $1.5bn – zero has been in the country. “There’s definitely not an ‘SA-off’ strategy at South32,” says Mike Fraser, chief operating officer of South32’s Africa division. “Aluminium is absolutely part of the strategy,” he says of the Bayside and Hillside…

access_time2 min.
rehabilitating optimum coal mine

Ellington Nxumalo acknowledges there was “a lot of leprosy” ahead of the company taking on the contracting for Optimum Coal Mine, the Mpumalanga thermal coal mine once operated by Gupta company Tegeta Exploration & Resources. Having kicked the tyres of the mine, however, he’s optimistic it can be revived, provided, of course, the somewhat meandering, politically charged process of taking the mine out of business rescue can be navigated. Nxumalo is joint founder of Lurco Group, a coal mining company that began operating in 2010 by trading coal and supplying some of it to local hospitals. A key moment in the firm’s history was signing a contract in 2014 with South32 to rehabilitate coal slag from its Douglas colliery, now called Van Dyk’s Drift. In terms of this arrangement, Lurco Group invested R300m…