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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 8/27/2020

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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
Media 24 Ltd
25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

good news is hard to come by these days. Even as we finally enter lockdown level 2, celebrating is premature. While it of course provides a lifeline to many businesses that were hanging by a thread, it’s too late for scores of others. And then there is the fact that Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere soon, which means we will remain subject to the possibility of reinstated restrictions. Not to mention the reality that lives will continue to be lost. Over and above the uncertainty of how long the world will remain exposed to this virus – for South Africans, the past five months of the unsynchronous approach by government in combatting the pandemic has left us despondent. Furthermore, once we do finally emerge on the “other side”, the economic hardship our…

5 min.
for some, a little faith goes a long way

no industry has been left untouched by Covid-19. Religious and spiritual services are no exception. Churches across South Africa closed during hard lockdown; many remain closed, with services moving online. The Hajj pilgrimage that began on 28 July had only 1 000 pilgrims, down from 2.5m in 2019. Public celebrations of Jewish Passover have been cancelled. Buddhists around the world observed Vesak Day virtually. The financial implications of such a supply shock are becoming all too clear. Donations have fallen and many churches have been forced to delay or scrap their outreach programmes. Some ministries have had to let go of staff. Places that depend on pilgrimages have been particularly badly hurt. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral has been renovated at great expense in anticipation of the surge of Camino pilgrims…

1 min.
double take

THE GOOD Biotechnology and Nasdaq-listed company Novavax announced the beginning of a Phase 2b clinical trial in South Africa to evaluate the efficacy of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Dr Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at Wits University, will lead the clinical trial. Madhi said in a statement that the major motivation for the vaccines being evaluated at an early stage in SA is to gather evidence in the African context on how well these vaccines work in settings such as our own. THE BAD JSE-listed insurer Momentum Metropolitan told customers that a third party ‘unlawfully accessed’ a limited portion of data of a subsidiary of the group. The insurer said it became aware of the data breach on its network on 13 August and immediately activated its IT security incident plan, which…

5 min.
growing sa’s informal market

in 2015, the absence of credit solutions for spaza shop owners led to bankers Siya Ntutela and Mdu Thabethe deciding to fill this gap by starting their own financial services company, Zande Africa. “The name of the company was derived from a Nguni word that means ‘to multiply’, in reference to our objective to unlock the spaza shop economy, which boasts an annual revenue of over R40bn,” says Ntutela. Their subsequent analysis uncovered that supply issues were an even greater challenge than cash constraints. “Spaza shop owners, at least once a week, have to either close shop or employ someone to run the shop while they are away buying merchandise. To address this challenge, we added supply and logistics solutions to our product offering,” says Ntutela. Unlocking a market Getting the initiative off the…

2 min.
an adverse amendment

south African mining has recently suggested there are grounds for hope that the government will respond positively to reform proposals placed before it by Business Leadership SA’s B4SA. Roger Baxter, CEO of Minerals Council SA, which contributed the mining sector slides to B4SA’s presentation to government, said visible signs of policy improvement could be seen within six months. A proposal, for instance, to incentivise exploration investment via tax benefits attached to so-called flow-through shares, could be met with a favourable response before October, he said. Unfortunately, the government ‘policy’ doesn’t appear to be either homogenous or synchronous. While National Treasury may view flow-through shares positively, it tabled the Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill in July that may frustrate junior mining. Addressing the tax treatment of allowable mining capital expenditure where mining services are…

1 min.
orion’s touching the skies

Shares in the JSE’s Orion Minerals have nearly doubled in value since the start of August, which is timeous as the firm is thought to be in the final stages of equity financing the Prieska copper-zinc project. This followed the grant of a mining permit over the remainder of Orion’s Northern Cape property which Errol Smart, CEO of the company, says has been delivered in double-quick time and is a reminder that when minded, South Africa’s mining regulatory environment can be a force for good, not frustration. “My biggest fear, the one thing that kept me awake at night, was that it would take six to nine months to get the permit,” he told finweek in an interview. Now is the time to be financing and building mines in SA with infrastructure…