Eskom implements four days of power cuts after multiple breakdowns. Pick ‘n Pay’s CEO, Richard Brasher will retire soon. De Beers has cut its buyer’s club and Dr. Anthea Jeffery unpacks land expropriation without compensation.
In a sobering assessment of the state of the South African economy, Marius Oosthuizen, an economics and leadership expert at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), warns that the country has run out of money and politicians have run out of ideas. He explains why ANC policy is not working to generate the higher level of economic growth needed to create jobs. Bloated state-owned entities like Eskom are dissected, too, in this in-depth discussion with Jackie Cameron, editor at large, at BizNews. Oosthuizen says an alternative is for regions and cities to circumvent problems.
South Africa is preparing to regulate crypto currencies like Bitcoin. In addition to protecting individuals, the new rules may pave the way for a mushrooming of products with crypto currencies as their underlying basket of investments. Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive for Investigations and Enforcement at the regulatory Financial Sector Conduct Authority, set out the details of the proposed legislation – and provides an update on crypto currency-linked Mirror Trading International (MTI), whose boss has disappeared along with investor funds.
South African investment professional Kokkie Kooyman is probably the best financial sector analyst in the world. He knows every publicly listed bank and insurer. The Denker Capital global financial fund manager encouraged people to invest when the herd was stampeding away from stocks in 2020. Now, although markets have perked up, Kooyman believes bank stocks are likely to deliver superior returns and there’s an opportunity to get in relatively early for the ride. Big buyers are coming back into the market, with banks allowed to buy back their shares. In this interview, he sets out his global investment ideas. He also weighs in on South African bank shares – which have the weight of a troubled economy on them – and controversial SA insurer Santam, which has been fighting an ugly battle with its clients over business interruption cover. – Jackie Cameron
The AU secured 300 million Covid-19 vaccines. Where do private medical scheme members fall in SA’s vaccination schedule? The Wall Street Journal looks at Brazil’s vaccine trial manipulation.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the ANC at the start of the year that passing legislation to allow for land expropriation without compensation is a priority for the ruling party this year. It is move that would most likely deal a devastating blow to the already troubled SA economy because it will deter investment. Dr Anthea Jeffery, a legal expert with the IRR thinktank, unpacks the details of the proposed laws that will allow for the state to seize many of your assets, including your home – regardless of your skin colour. Disadvantaged people won’t receive property equity; instead a system in which property is leased from the state is proposed. She says it is possible this socialist legislation will be passed, because the ANC can secure a two-thirds majority with the Economic Freedom Fighters – a radical group that supports Venezuela-style economics. In this interview with BizNews’ Jackie Cameron, Dr Jeffery sets out what’s next as the EWC policy gains momentum. It’s a mistake to think President Ramaphosa is a pro-business ‘reformer, she says. The IRR is taking steps to fight this legislation that will ‘bring Zimbabwe to South Africa’ and increase unemployment, hunger and suffering, as a deadline looms in February.
Cathie Wood’s exchange-traded fund, theARK Innovation ETF,surged by almost 160% last year, growing assets 10-fold–unprecedented inflows for an active fund of that type, notes The Wall Street Journal. She made concentrated bets on hot stocks such asTesla,Roku, Square and biotechs andtold an interviewerlast month that she expects to nearly triple unit holders’ money over the next five years. But similar star managers’ performance has tended not only to be mean-reverting but actually worse-than-average after their runs end. In this podcast, Cathie Wood discusses her investment strategy.
With South Africa in the eye of the Covid-19 storm, the pressure is on government to secure vaccines for mass vaccination – and fast. Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the roll out of vaccines would be in 3 phases, starting with health workers and moving on to people in crowded conditions, including prisons. So where do the individuals on private medical schemes fit in to this schedule? We spoke to Dr Lungi Nyathi, Managing Executive for Clinical risk and Advisory at Medscheme – part of the Afrocentric Group which has about 15 schemes and 4m people in its net – for what the private sector is doing to assist with vaccine procurement.
South Africa’s government announced that it secured 20 million Covid-19 vaccines, as lockdown is extended. Johnson & Johnson says local trial data will be submitted soon. And the country’s oil refining capacity is cut by half until at least 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic is at its most devastating in South Africa, with more than 190,000 coronavirus infections and more than 4,600 deaths since the start of the year. At least 15,000 people are seriously ill in hospital with roughly one third of these people on oxygen, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. In an update at the start of the week on national rules to curb the spread of Covid-19, he said funerals have been superspreaders, with many funeral attendees among the dead. Nevertheless, he stopped short at cancelling funerals when he announced adjustments to Covid-19 containment measures on Monday night. Curfew has been tweaked, political and sports gatherings won’t be allowed, and the government has promised an aggressive vaccination roll-out programme. President Ramaphosa says the govt is in the process of procuring vaccines through 3 channels and explains the order in the queue. Listen to Ramaphosa’s 11 January announcement here.