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South African Business Confidence Falls to Almost Two-Year Low

South African business confidence fell to the lowest level in almost two years in the first quarter, with more than two thirds of respondents dissatisfied with current conditions. A gauge measuring sentiment declined to 28 in the first quarter from 31 in the final three months of 2018, FirstRand Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank unit and the University of Stellenbosch’s Bureau ... Read More »

Eskom pays R13 billion in yet another dodgy contract: report

In the same week that energy regulator Nersa granted Eskom a hefty tariff hike, the power utility reportedly paid R12 billion for flawed designs at one of its power stations – with an additional R1 billion paid to the same firm for repairs. The City Press reported that a confidential tender report for Eskom showed that the power utility gave ... Read More »

South African business confidence declines to five-month low

South African business confidence fell to a five-month low in February. The index dropped to 93.4 in February to from 95.1 in the previous month, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in an emailed statement. While sentiment jumped to a two-year high in early 2018 after President Cyril Ramaphosa won the leadership of the ruling African National ... Read More »

6 big stories for South African investors to watch

There are many concerns swirling around South African investors at the moment, making it a particularly tricky time to establish a level of strategy conviction, says Nico Els, a fund manager at Ashburton Investments. Major geopolitical events could have any number of outcomes and in South Africa (SA), pervasive uncertainty seems to be the watchword as we inch towards elections ... Read More »

A first-timer’s guide to investing offshore – tax-free

Let me start by saying I’m not negative about South Africa’s long-term prospects and I would never encourage disinvestment in this country – quite the opposite. What I do always encourage, though, is portfolio diversification – that old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” adage. The South African stocks market is quite undiversified compared to others – if ... Read More »

Mboweni likely realised a tax ceiling has been reached in SA

Compared to significant tax increases in the last four years’ Budgets, the latest delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday appears to show an acceptance that taxation levels in SA have reached a ceiling, says Melanie Milleskie, tax expert at Deloitte Africa. Milleskie believes Budget 2019 was about hard facts and figures, sending a clear message that the economic ... Read More »

‘Ivory Queen’ sentenced to 15 years in jail for running African smuggling ring

A Chinese national responsible for running a huge ivory smuggling ring is sentenced to 15 years behind bars in Tanzania. We tell you more about the “Ivory Queen”. Also, Burkina Faso faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with around 100,000 people who have been displaced in the country. And in South Africa, a tiny seafood restaurant has been named the best ... Read More »

The Zuma years cost SA R470bn, laments economist Dennis Dykes

The Zuma years cost SA’s economy R470bn, according to Nedbank chief economist Dennis Dykes said in Business Day on Tuesday. “We have calculated that SA lost around R470bn of GDP stemming from the corruption, maladministration and misguided policies of the second Zuma administration starting in 2014,” Dykes said. There was an estimated loss in tax revenue of R140bn, which would ... Read More »

SA student busted at or Tambo for smuggling $630 000 in luggage

A female student carrying almost R10 million in US currency in a plastic bag appeared in court today, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The woman appeared on charges of smuggling currency and failure to declare it. The revenue service said the South African student was intercepted on a flight bound for Hong Kong on Tuesday at OR Tambo ... Read More »

Indian-origin prof appointed director of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance

An Indian-origin global negotiator has been appointed as the director of a renowned academic institution in South Africa. Professor Faizel Ismail will take charge as the director of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance from Professor Alan Hirsch in July. Ismail is known for his role in negotiating major agreements for South Africa, including ... Read More »

SA and Egypt lead picky foreign direct investors back into Africa

The African investment roller-coaster shows just how hard it has been to make bets on the continent pay off. After two years of declines, the region experienced growth in inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018, thanks to a revival of interest in SA and a more stable environment in Egypt. Yet foreign interest has been fickle, underscoring the ... Read More »

Shipping company cuts back on South African cadets

DURBAN: AP Moller-Maersk, known more simply as Maersk, the largest container shipping company in the world, was reported in an American maritime paper over the weekend to have confirmed a new long-term strategy that involves reducing by a significant number the recruitment of cadets from South Africa. Maersk has its regional head office in Cape Town and its container ships ... Read More »

Could February change South Africa’s financial outlook for 2019

2018 was a tumultuous year laden with events that shook the market in so much that it yielded negative double-digit returns. Over the last 58 years, this has only happened on the JSE All Share Index during seven calendar years, including 1969/70 and 1975/76 where this occurred in consecutive years. \This begs the question: will history repeat itself? Should we ... Read More »

3 franchising trends in South Africa

A recent survey conducted by the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) revealed that the franchising industry has grown from contributing 13.3% to the South African Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 to its current figure of 15.7% despite the tough economic climate and its impact on franchises. Morne Cronje, head of franchising at FNB Business said franchising is a ... Read More »

Executives to address SA investment roundtable at the Africa Mining Indaba

CAPE TOWN – The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies; Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe; and the General Manager of Research at Brand South Africa, Petrus de Kock are expected to address the South African mining investment roundtable at the Investing in the African Mining Indaba to be held in Cape Town next week. The investment roundtable will be ... Read More »

Vedanta to invest Rs 8,500 crore in South Africa for mining business expansion

N Vedanta Resources Ltd Monday announced a fresh investment of Rs 8,500 crore to expand its mining and allied operations in South Africa and has committed to invest another Rs 60,000 crore in India in the next three years. “Vedanta Resources Ltd…whose chairman Anil Agarwal, was part of the…South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa’s high-powered delegation for India’s 70th Republic Day ... Read More »

Lower fuel price set to boost SA consumer confidence

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s consumer confidence is set to improve due to the sharp declines in fuel prices in December and again in January after the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) held steady at +7 index points in the fourth quarter of 2018. The FNB/BER raced to 26 points in the first quarter of 2018 from -8 points in the previous quarter as ... Read More »

South Africa ratings firm denies Kenya exit

South Africa-based Global Credit Rating Company (GCR) has denied media reports that it has ceased operations in Kenya while asserting its continued presence in the market. GCR says it undertook a group restructuring following the purchase of a 49.9 percent stake by private equity firm Carlyle Group, necessitating the application of a new licence which it secured last year. The ... Read More »

Protecting South Africa’s borders: Rocky roads and unrelenting conditions

Despite unrelenting terrain, the beating sun and vast tracks of land to patrol, South African Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers on the borders have still managed to apprehend more than 6 000 people – allegedly for trying to illegally enter South Africa from Mozambique since January. There, base commander Major Marvin Manganye spoke about their mission to maintain South African sovereignty. ... Read More »

Rand dips below R14 vs the dollar

The rand dipped below R14.00 against the dollar in trade on Monday, amid rising expectations that the US Federal Reserve may cut interest rates. With the rand now finally below the R14.00 mark, a renewed optimism fills the local currency market, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions. “The recovery in the local unit has been driven ... Read More »