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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 4/2/2020

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.

País:
South Africa
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Media 24 Ltd
Periodicitat:
Biweekly
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25 Números

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2 min.
from the editor

by the time you read this note, South Africa will be in lockdown. While President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on the evening of 23 March was anticipated, waking up to that reality was surreal. Having watched over a 100 countries battle this pandemic, becoming one of them is a humbling equaliser. While I was writing this, Al Jazeera reported that more than 18 000 people globally had died from Covid-19; more than 420 000 infections had been confirmed in at least 170 countries and territories. Nearly 109 000 people had recovered. This virus doesn’t discriminate. Dismissing it and stigmatising it is at the peril of nations – despite what some world leaders will tell their citizens. The only way to combat it is by working together. Luckily we have a president that understands this and…

5 min.
economics in the time of corona

there is little doubt that the world is headed towards a corona-induced recession. We are rich because we live interdependent lives, specialising in the things we do best and trading away our surpluses. When that trade is prohibited – when we cannot buy the things we do not produce ourselves – we return to the independent but impoverished worlds our ancestors inhabited. Just how much poorer we will be after the crisis is difficult to estimate. There are many factors at play. Premature deaths reduce the size of the labour force, and illness lowers productivity. Resources that could have been used productively will now flow to treatment and control measures. Attempts to reduce the spread of the disease, like travel bans and self-isolation, can further disrupt economic activity. Some industries will feel…

4 min.
restructuring government procurement

after getting caught up in bureaucratic delays since the departure of South Africa’s inaugural chief procurement officer (CPO), Kenneth Brown, from National Treasury in December 2016, the eagerly awaited Public Procurement Bill finally kicked on. The first draft of the 75-page bill was released by Treasury for public comment on 19 February and the deadline for input submissions has been set for 31 May. The legislation has been in the works since Brown was appointed in 2013 by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan to establish the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) to reform and modernise government’s procurement and supplychain management (SCM) systems and policies to eliminate tender-related corruption and simplify tendering processes. But efforts to close loopholes and clean up state procurement got stuck when Brown, his boss and former Treasury…

4 min.
in brief

“OUR FUNDAMENTAL TASK ATTHIS MOMENT IS TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE.” – President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the South African government’s imposition of a nationwide lockdown for21 days from midnight on 26 March to try to contain theCovid-19 outbreak in the country. The lockdown forces most businesses to close, aside from essential services in safety and security, food and distribution, telecommunications and electricity. At the time of his address on 23 March, the country’s health ministry had reported 402 confirmed cases. Ramaphosa said the aim of the lockdown was to slow the spread of Covid-19 in SA and ease the pressure on the healthcare system and he urged South Africans to stay at home during this time. “This, we hope, will relieve cash flow constraints currently caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.” –…

2 min.
double take

THE GOOD MTN agreed to cut the cost of data bundles by up to 50% after SA’s competition watchdog warned in December that telecoms operators faced prosecution if they did not do so. Godfrey Motsa, CEO of MTN SA, said a 1GB monthly data bundle will fall from R149 to R99, while Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the network will reduce its mobile data prices across the board by as much as 40%. Meanwhile, hotel operator Tsogo Sun Hotels said it closed 36 hotels after travel bans imposed by various countries to contain Covid-19 had caused a “total collapse of demand”, in a statement on the JSE. Tsogo added it is “endeavouring to assist” the public and private healthcare sectors with the provision of quarantine facilities to try and contain the…

4 min.
payrolls of the future

dave Ungerer, the founder of SimplePay, got the idea of starting an online payroll solution after seeing the system which the company he used to work for had to grapple with. “I felt terribly sorry for the payroll officer and realised I could make a meaningful difference to especially small businesses by developing a smarter, more efficient system,” he says. To think things through, he went on a three-month break to Buenos Aires, but, after only two weeks, started working full-time on the envisioned payroll system, which he launched in November 2007. The project was completely self-funded. “Where most of my colleagues bought fancy cars and enjoyed the high life, I saved the money I made as a software developer to start my own business,” Ungerer says. Early days He did not put much…