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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 6/4/2020

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.

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South Africa
Media 24 Ltd
25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

on Sunday 24 May, The New York Times dedicated its front page to victims of Covid-19. Nearly 1000 names were published, along with their age and a personal detail. Tombstone engravings etched in ink that represent roughly 1% of the total reported US death toll. The US president’s response to the pandemic continues to serve as an exemplary example of how dangerous poor leadership can be in this crisis. When The New York Times published this front page, the US death toll was nearing 100 000 and it was memorial weekend in the US, reserved for honouring the country’s war dead. Trump chose to spend this sombre weekend golfing, tweeting and re-tweeting insults to female politicians. Back here in South Africa our president was getting ready to address us about the next steps…

5 min.
one thing corona won’t kill: inequality

south Africa is one of the most unequal countries on earth. Statistics like the Gini coefficient only confirm what any tourist sees on arrival: Large disparities in living standards between those in the swanky suburbs of Sandton or Stellenbosch and those living precariously on the outskirts. Add to that the poverty of a third of South Africans still residing in former homelands, far away from most tourist eyes. How to narrow this gap has been at the centre of debate for the last 25 years. But there has been little progress. While the nature of income inequality has changed – inequality between black and white has declined while inequality within each group has increased – the overall level of inequality has remained largely constant. Economists have typically identified two things that should…

4 min.
internal strife could compromise black business in economic recovery

a day before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown on 23 March, aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the president met with business leaders at the Union Buildings to discuss mitigating the impact of the disease on the South African economy. Before the meeting, Ramaphosa, flanked by a high-level business delegation, held an impromptu media briefing to let the nation know that he was holding consultations with political, business, and labour leaders to formulate a powerful response to the deadly disease. Since then, the virus has claimed the lives of 348 322 people globally including 533 South Africans at the time of going to print. The business delegation constituted Martin Kingston, vice president of Business Unity South Africa (Busa); Sandile Zungu, president of the Black Business Council (BBC);…

3 min.
news in numbers

“BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT HAS NOT ADDED ANY VALUE TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY AND SHOULD BE SCRAPPED AND REPLACED WITH A MORE INTEGRATED BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT POLICY.” – Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki said, “BEE, in my view, has been a disservice to the economy of SA,” during a dialogue on broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) hosted by transformation consultancy BEEnovation, reported Fin24. The Covid-19 pandemic has revived debate around the legitimacy of the legislation, including a failed legal bid by trade union Solidarity and its associate, AfriForum, challenging the application of B-BBEE provisions in the distribution of R200m in relief funding for tourism companies. (Also read Andile Ntingi’s analysis of black business representation on p.6.) “Here’s what I don’t remember: the pandemic of 1968-1969. And yet there was one. It was called the…

1 min.
double take

THE GOOD The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) investigative directorate, set up to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption, has received cooperation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its pursuit of those who allegedly benefitted from the Estina corruption case, according to BusinessLive. They include the Guptas, who are understood to be living in Dubai. The state alleges that about R250m that was meant to benefit poor farmers at the dairy farm in Vrede in the Free State was siphoned off to Gupta-owned companies. BusinessLive reported that some of it was allegedly used to pay for an extravagant family wedding at Sun City. THE BAD AngloGold Ashanti temporarily shut the world’s deepest gold mine, Mponeng, after 164 employees tested positive for the coronavirus. This was shortly after government allowed the limited reopening of…

4 min.
the coronavirus-induced smell of clean air could boost platinum

south Africans may not have enjoyed their personal liberty becoming subject to government diktat, but at least the air smells sweeter. One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has been a reduction in national pollution. Nitrogen dioxide levels fell 23% on the Highveld between 27 March and 20 April, according to satellite imaging studies produced by the Pretoria-based research institute the CSIR. The phenomena of reduced emissions have been a global consequence of less cars on the road, less factories, and less air travel. “This cleaner air should not just be temporary,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, in an article by the UK’s Guardian. “So once the current emergency has passed and we start to recover, our challenge will be to eradicate air pollution permanently,” he said. This is much the hope…