Cape Times 2021-12-01

Cape Town’s main English language morning newspaper, offering breaking city and national news, and in-depth coverage of politics, business and sport.

South Africa
Independent Media Pty Ltd
253 期号


unemployment rate is likely to worsen amid strong headwinds impact of travel bans, energy crisis, rising inflation and covid fourth wave

Siphelele Dludla UNEMPLOYMENT in South Africa is expected to worsen further before the end of the year as the economy continues to face strong headwinds from travel bans, the energy crisis, rising inflation and a looming Covid-19 fourth wave amid the Omicron variant. Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released grim figures yesterday, showing that unemployment hit new record levels after rising by 0.5 percentage points to 34.9 percent in the third quarter of 2021. This is the highest unemployment rate in the country in 13 years, following another record high of 34.4 percent in the second quarter. The job losses could have huge implications for the country’s fiscus as the personal income tax base shrinks and household consumer spending becomes constrained, forcing the government to spend…

african bank swings into annual profit from year earlier

Dineo Faku AFRICAN Bank swung to a profit during the year ended September 2021 from a loss a year earlier and unveiled its 2025 strategy aimed at ensuring the bank remains relevant in a competitive environment. African Bank yesterday reported a net profit after tax of R534 million compared to a reported loss of R27m for the same period last year. Chairperson Thabo Dloti said the bank’s results, while encouraging, remained significantly lower than the 2019 financial year’s pre-pandemic results of a profit of R1.2 billion. “This slower return to pre-pandemic profitability levels is mainly due to a slower-than-expected recovery of the South African economy and the conservative, but necessary, stance adopted by the group towards credit advancement,” Dloti said. On the positive side, he said, the…

rand recovers to below r16-mark as markets shrug off the concerns about omicron

THE RAND YESTERDAY surprised on the up as it dipped below the R16-mark as the markets shrugged off the latest develop- ments around the Covid-19 Omicron vari- ant and the record unemployment numbers. Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday revealed that the unemployment rate had escalated to 34.9 percent in the three months to September, the highest level since 2008. StatsSA said 660 000 people lost their jobs during the third quarter, with the number of discouraged work seekers dramatically increasing by 545 000. Currently, there are more than 7.6 million people of working age who are unem- ployed in South Africa. Despite this, the rand made a spectacular recovery following a retreat to R16.21 to the dollar earlier in the day as caution lingered in markets after…

ayo ready for more acquisitions despite a tough 2021 financial year

Edward West ICT TECHNOLOGY investment group AYO Technology Solutions posted muted results for the year to August 31, after facing many challenges, including to its reputation, and the effects of Covid-19 on the economy. Notwithstanding this, a final divi- dend of 30 cents per share was declared, which brought the total dividend for 2021 only marginally lower to 95c from 100c in 2020. Chief executive Howard Plaatjes said yesterday that the pandemic triggered reductions in IT spend, leading to a loss of some customers and non-renewal of maturing contracts, which affected the bottom line. This was exacerbated by the material adverse impact of unwarranted media attention and hangover from the Mpati commission on the group’s reputation. However, he said they had maintained a positive attitude, the balance sheet…

who to convene experts’ meeting to assess omicron

The World Health Organization is convening an experts’ meeting from Geneva at midday on Friday to assess the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron) amid growing concern, a spokesperson said. European and Asian countries tightened travel restrictions last Friday after the new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant was detected in South Africa, with the EU, Britain and India among those announcing stricter border controls. “We don’t know very much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is when you have so many mutations it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” said Maria van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist and WHO technical lead on Covid-19, at the time. “This is one to watch, I would say we have…

paella given official cultural recognition

Enrico Bonadio and Magali Contardi | The Conversation Paella – the iconic Valencian rice dish made with fish, meat or vegetables – has been officially recognised for its cultural importance. In October, the local government in the Valencia region of Spain declared paella an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest. The decree of recognition acknowledges the tradition and cultural significance of the preparation and tasting of paella, describing the dish as representative of “the art of joining and sharing”. It establishes a series of safeguarding measures, including the identification, description, study and documentation of paella so that its recipe can be passed on to future generations. Curiously enough, the decree explains that different ingredients can be used for the making of paella, acknowledging that there are several versions of the…