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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 7/30/2020

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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
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25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

in mid-July I needed to take a Covid-19 test as part of pre-admission screening fora routine outpatient procedure. While the test itself was about as bizarre and uncomfortable as I had read it would be, seeing the workings of the testing station and the frontline workers – both medical and administrative – was a stark reality check. Here I must give the caveat that I am a huge fan of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. So, my testing station experience was certainly coloured by this. Sitting in a demarcated area of a parking lot, on a chair perfectly distanced from the next person in line as we waited to be allowed into the container one by one (throwing fleeting, uncertain glances at one another) is a scene that can send a former…

5 min.
the solutions we don’t need

a few weeks ago, a small group of social scientists, most of whom enjoy, like I do, the comforts of academic life, wrote an open letter to finance minister Tito Mboweni, telling him to spend more. They are concerned about the prudent supplementary budget and would like him to increase spending to support the millions of South Africans who are now jobless and destitute thanks to a global pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that sounded the death knell for an already faltering economy. But despite the signatories’ good intentions to aid poor South Africans and revive our economy, the letter exposes poor economic thinking. Let me explain. Firstly, while the signatories encourage more spending, they fail to answer the obvious: what would the limit be? Their letter, widely reported on in the…

4 min.
fewer rules and more enforcement

we need less government intervention in this country. Especially if we want to kickstart the crumbling economy. Two recent events have prompted a consideration of whether citizens, businesses and the government are taking a feasible route in their discourse around how to get economic growth back on track – and at a much faster pace at that. First off was a recent discussion on whether to allow white-owned businesses to enter the township retail market through spaza shops. The second was the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee’s 31-page discussion document on reconstructing, growing and transforming South Africa’s economy. Both of these examples have something in common: calls for greater government intervention. The ruling party went as far as proposing state-owned hatcheries in a bid to boost investment in aquaculture. I’d suggest that instead of…

2 min.
in brief

“MORE THAN 95% SURE.” – UK security minister James Brokenshire on Britain’s certainty that Russian state-sponsored hackers targeted UK, US and Canadian organisations involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine. On 16 July, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint advisory with intelligence agencies from the US and Canada warning that a Russian hacker group was behind a spate of cyber attacks on medical research centres tasked with finding a vaccine forCovid-19. Brokenshire told BBC Radio 4 that the NCSC and its counterparts were confident that Russian intelligence agencies were responsible for the attacks on the drug companies and research groups. Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, rejected the allegations on BBC, saying that “there is no sense” in the story. “Leadership is everything, so it is really up…

1 min.
double take

THE GOOD South Africa’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose in the first quarter of 2020 to R29bn ($1.7bn) compared with R10.5bn in the final quarter of 2019, according to the Reserve Bank. In its quarterly bulletin, the bank said “SA’s direct investment liabilities increased … mainly as a result of the foreign acquisition of a domestic manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage products”. In March, the $1.7bn purchase of Pioneer Foods by US-based PepsiCo got the go-ahead from the Competition Tribunal. One of the BEE shareholding terms of the deal is that workers will get Nasdaq shares in PepsiCo worth R1.6bn through a locally-held workers’ trust, which will pay dividends to workers in dollars. THE BAD Listed SA wine exporter Distell is battling a glut of wine as an abundant harvest…

4 min.
local duo revolutionises first responder systems

after a ten-year stint as chief technology officer of a gaming business in London, Brett Meyerowitz made his way back to South Africa and started working for a banking company. With more time on his hands, he decided to volunteer as an ambulance assistant, which exposed him to the deep inefficiencies of the emergency response systems used in SA. “The systems were dated, expensive to maintain, unfriendly and extremely inefficient, resulting, among others, in emergency response teams being reliant on map books when they were in unfamiliar territory. This in situations where timing often meant the difference between life and death,” Meyerowitz says. In response he started developing a mobile platform to help him and fellow volunteers overcome this challenge. Features were expanded as more companies became aware of the system and…