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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 6/25/2020

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

as the rest of the world gingerly reopens, South Africans are knee-deep in the lockdown lull. It’s been nearly three months and we’ve had to accept this bizarre new reality. And with Covid-19 cases increasing, it’s likely that we are going to have to live in this state of uncertainty a while yet. However, the government has changed its tune from the ominous tone at the start of the lockdown to one of measured caution. In his 8 June letter to South Africans, President Cyril Ramaphosa signs off by urging us not to be alarmed, but prepared. Considering our current recovery rate, this isn’t an unfair request. Of course, fatalities remain devastating – no matter the figure. Furthermore, South Africa faces this inevitable increase in infections as we battle winter. But, let’s say…

5 min.
the investment we need to make capitalism work for all

‘Capitalism’ has been misunderstood since it was coined in the 19th century. The term was first used as a criticism of the rising income gap between factory workers and factory owners. But until the early 20th century, it was rarely used; Karl Marx only mentioned the word a few times in his later writings. In 1908, economist Thorsten Veblen explained it as a socialist term for a “large-scale industrial regime”, not exactly the description we would use today. The term evolved during the 20th century to mean many things to many people. If I were to ask my undergraduate economic history class for a proper definition, I’d get as many answers as there are students. Some would define it as French socialist Louis Blanc did in 1850: Capitalism, he said, “is…

5 min.
tender set-asides rather than b-bbee

promises are the sweetest lies, reads a five-word inscription on my daughter’s WhatsApp profile picture. She is only 14, but this message struck a chord with me when I first saw it, something that caught me by surprise from the introverted teenager. The message forced me to reflect on a string of broken promises made by our elected politicians under the guise of broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) policy, which has throughout its various iterations over the past 26 years only benefitted a tiny politically-connected black elite, while widening inequality among the people it was supposed to uplift. The policy’s failure to deliver on its promise of radically increasing black economic participation is becoming a source of frustration and disenchantment among its intended black beneficiaries. As a result, an opposing view is…

5 min.
in brief

“THE RECENT GAINS IN SASOL’S SHARE PRICE CAN LARGELY BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF OIL…” —Mohamed Mitha, equity analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, noted that supply and demand dynamics in the oil market improved to some extent with news in early June that OPEC+ was considering an extension of their production cuts to beyond June 2020, leading to gains in Sasol’s shares. The share price traded at a high of about R180 at some point in June, after reaching lows of R21.88 in March, exacerbated by falling oil prices, problems at its US-based Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) and a $10bn debt burden, according to Fin24. Apart from the company’s announcement of a cash conservation package, which included a disposal of assets and a potential rights issue…

2 min.
double take

THE GOOD The Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s Electoral Act is unconstitutional in that it limits the political rights of individuals, while casting in iron the rights of political parties. The judgment comes after the case by the New Nation Movement, a non-partisan movement founded in 2017, was dismissed in the Western Cape High Court in 2019, a month before SA went to the polls, leading to an appeal to the apex court. The judgement acknowledges “choosing to associate is an exercise of the right to freedom of association. Choosing to dissociate from that which you earlier associated with is also an exercise of that right. Choosing not to associate at all too is an exercise of the right. A restraint on any of these choices is a negation of…

1 min.
covid-19 impact surveys

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has conducted two of three “waves” of online surveys since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the national state of disaster on 23 March. These surveys measure the impact that the national lockdown, which began on 26 March, has had on SA society. One of the first-round (Wave1) surveys “focused on health-related issues, specifically on behaviour, knowledge and perceptions around Covid-19”. Data collection for Wave 2 focused on employment, income and hunger-related issues and occurred during the sixth week of the national lockdown between 29 April and 6 May 2020. Some of the results of this survey can be seen in the graphs on the left. The second wave of Stats SA’s Covid-19 business impact survey “provides an update on how SA businesses are currently faring under lockdown”. The…