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Star 2021-07-19

Unchallenged as South Africa’s most influential daily newspaper, The Star covers the heart of the nation with unequalled reporting of local, national and international news and sport. It is widely considered to be a superb advertising environment.

South Africa
Independent Media Pty Ltd
R 6,99
R 1 099,99
253 Issues

in this issue

3 min
warning smes hit hard by rising costs, restrictions and heavy looting businesses pick up the pieces after many were wiped out by criminality

BANELE GININDZA banele.ginindza@inl.co.za JULY HAS come with severe challenges for South Africa’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which have to face, in addition to an extended lockdown and widespread looting, increases in electricity charges, a hike in property rates and higher fuel prices. This as SMEs across the country, particularly in looting-hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, began picking up the pieces after they were wiped out when protesters helped themselves to goods. According to insights from funder Retail Capital, the lockdowns impact SMEs not only financially, but also sentimentally, because as soon as increased restrictions are put in place, there is a general hold on spending. This, in addition to having to fork out extra money for utilities and fuel, means that available income is compromised, which has a significant knock-on…

2 min
moderate inflation

Economists not expecting Reserve Bank to raise interest rates at MPC meeting Siphelele Dludla siphelele.dludla@inl.co.za THE SOUTH African Reserve Bank (SARB) is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at 3.5 percent this week as consumers continue struggling with rising fuel and electricity prices. The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will this week announce its interest rates decision following a unanimous decision to keep them unchanged in May. SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago, however, warned that the implied policy rate path of their projection model indicated an increase of 25 basis points in each of the second and fourth quarters of 2021. Inflation is forecast to be moderate at around 4.9 percent in June from 5.2 percent in May, above the SARB’s 3 to 6 percent target range,…

2 min
triple-digit growth richemont sales of luxury watches and jewellery surge across all operations in quarter to june

Sandile Mchunu sandile.mchunu@inl.co.za RICHEMONT reported a strong first quarter of its 2022 financial year with 129 percent sales growth in the three months to end June boosted by the performance of jewellery maisons and the specialist watchmakers. The group said almost all its opera- tional regions reported triple-digit growth in sales during the quarter. Jewellery maisons and specialist watchmakers were the best performers after reporting sales growth of 142 percent and 143 percent respectively. The group’s 2020 first quarter was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a triple-digit growth in sales during the current quarter, with the exception of Asia Pacific, online distributors and online retail, where sales grew by double-digits. “The other business area, mostly composed of our fashion and accessories Maisons, also…

1 min
trading retail groups start counting the cost of last week’s looting and vandalism

SANDILE MCHUNU sandile.mchunu@inl.co.za RETAILERS are starting to count the cost of the impact of the past week’s looting and violent protests that ravaged their outlets in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. Pepkor Holdings said on Friday that 489 of its retail stores, or 9 percent of its overall portfolio, had been damaged and looted. The Steinhoff International subsidiary said its operations has been impacted by the civil unrest of the past week. The damaged properties include one of the JD Group’s distribution centres in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal. The JD Group operates 16 distribution centres countrywide, and its KwaZulu-Natal stores, once reopened, would be serviced in the short term from its other distribution centres. Chief executive Leon Lourens said the vast majority of the stores across their footprint were operational,…

5 min
no sustainable good can ever come of deceptive oil price wars

OPEC IS AT it again – or to be exact, two of its eminent constituent members are. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the de facto owners of Opec and the United Arab Emirates, the third-largest producing power in that group, are mulling over the possibility of a discord. At its conclusion, yet uncertain, it must permit for the recognition of the UAE as a powerful broker within the brotherhood without wresting the reins of control from Riyadh. The inevitable consequence of so much sabre-rattling has been the sharp increase in the oil price. From the depressed West Texas Intermediate oil contracts priced below zero in early 2020 to a staggering $75 per barrel in mid-July, so many questions are bound to follow. The reasons for the stand-off, rhyming quite close…

2 min
electricity supply allowing companies to produce up to 100mw may not be s africa’s panacea

Banele Ginindza banele.ginindza@inl.co.za GOVERNMENT’S proposal to enable companies to produce up to 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity for their use and on-selling to the grid might not be a blue swan after all, as Eskom and energy experts confirmed the utility would still have to charge higher tariffs to keep its boilers going. The utility would also have to make up for the revenue lost as South Africa’s intense energy users, the most diligent revenue generators, cut down on Eskom supplies as they utilise their own generation capacity. “There needs to be a cost reflective, transparent tariff structure to address issues like Eskom being the supplier of last resort and wheeling across our networks. “This would be the same for similar situations on the municipal networks,” Eskom confirmed this…