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Finweek - English

Finweek - English 3/4/2021

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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
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25 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

in turbulent economic times, small- and medium-sized businesses usually have to move heaven and earth to get their books to balance. It sometimes requires difficult decisions, such as prioritising certain products, cutting staff benefits or, in the worst case, retrenchments. In a company that cares for its people – its customers and its staff – the latter option is usually the last resort for the owner. But sometimes it is unavoidable to lay off people, even those who have been loyal to your business and to you as a business owner for many years. It has enormous consequences for the emotions and reputations of both parties. In addition to these devastating circumstances, the business owner must also improve the value for money of the services or products offered to retain…

5 min.
the future of healthcare

in early February 2021, the findings of a new vaccine trial were announced. While the news was only picked up by a few South African news outlets, the implications could be more profound for SA’s future than any Covid-19-related news. This is because the trial 1 results of the vaccine candidate showed a breakthrough in producing rare immune cells necessary to prevent the deadliest of pandemics in southern Africa, one that has ravaged the subcontinent for almost three decades: HIV/Aids. Statistics SA estimates that about a quarter of all annual deaths in SA – around 125 000 people – is attributed to Aids. Those numbers suggest that an HIV vaccine would improve the lives of millions of South Africans, raising life expectancy, reducing morbidity and the consequent (private and public) expenditure…

1 min.
“the long-term strategy is for the case to drag on so long that … he’ll be unable to contest any political position.”

− ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is said to be frustrated about being micromanaged by President Cyril Ramaphosa, reported City Press. According to the publication, the conflict was laid bare when Magashule used his closing summary at the recent virtual NEC meeting to plead that he not be “managed”. On the eve of Magashule’s Bloemfontein court appearance, a top-level caucus of his supporters was reportedly told that the short-term strategy of those wanting him to step down was to bar him from playing any part in preparing for the municipal elections, which are due to be held this year. The long-term plan is to tie him up in legal proceedings.…

1 min.
“[there are] fundamental concerns about beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices.”

− US President Joe Biden underscored concerns about Beijing’s economic practices, as well as its continuing crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including towards Taiwan, in his first call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the White House. The Chinese state broadcaster reported that Xi spoke in conciliatory tones about the importance of a healthy bilateral relationship but pointedly warned Biden to “act prudently” with regard to the problems raised. Both sides signalled they would not yield on the thorny issues, a sign that these matters could generate major tensions in the post-Trump era.…

1 min.
“we’ve never seen numbers like this.”

− Niël Pretorius, CEO of DRDGOLD told Mining Weekly that the company had never witnessed better financial results than those for the six months ended 31 December. Group revenue increased by 41% to R2.9bn due mainly to a 42% increase in the average rand gold price received to R988 998/kg. Operating profit increased by 100% to R1.4bn from R719.6m. DRDGOLD reported a 129% higher headline earnings a share, despite reduced production at operations. Pretorius said he viewed the outlook for gold as being really good, although he was concerned about the rise in debt levels around the world. The group upped its interim dividend by 60%.…

4 min.
double take

THE GOOD KPMG announced that it will no longer offer non-audit-related services to companies listed in SA, as it tries to restore trust in its operations in the country. Since 2017 the firm has been criticised over work it did for a company owned by the Gupta family – who are accused of using their links to former president Jacob Zuma to unduly influence government decisions and the awarding of tenders – and over the collapse of small lender VBS Mutual Bank. A number of firms, including Barclays Africa and Sibanye-Stillwater, and the national government have stopped using KPMG’s services. The firm said it volunteered to stop offering non-audit-related services to prevent perceptions of conflicts of interest. THE BAD The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has announced an investigation into Sasol to…