BizNews — Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos and journalist and editor Max du Preez, known to be like pit bull when it comes to uncovering the truth, told the BizNews Midweek Catchup webinar that there is enough evidence to prosecute some big fish for state capture.- Linda van Tilburg
BizNews — Veteran journalist Gary Alfonso, former Managing Director of CNBC Africa and Head of Fox in Africa, and who has played a key role in the introduction of many television stations in Africa, contemplates South African identity. Gary who describes himself as an Afro-optimist wrote a powerful essay on his deep connection to South Africa and how he sees his identity. That essay is published on BizNews, with his permission. – Linda van Tilburg Read Gary Alfonso’s essay: I am a South African
BizNews — All South Africans walk in the footsteps of the Khoi and San (Khoi-San) people who were the original inhabitants at the tip of the African continent. It is therefore fitting that one of their descendants, Chantal Revell, played an instrumental role in the recent decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to stand for national and provincial elections. It has not only opened the door for independents to stand for elections; it has open the door for the Khoi and San people slapped with the label of ‘coloured’ in the apartheid era to receive the recognition of being the first nation of southern Africa. Revell told BizNews of her journey and the importance of being recognised as the country’s oldest inhabitants. – Linda van Tilburg
BizNews — In today’s news headlines:
* SAA has been a significant drain on state coffers, requiring billions of rands of bail-outs, but theDepartment of Public Enterprises(DPE) says shutting South African Airways will cause severe hardship. African countries have lost almost $55bn in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and some airlines are not likely to survive;
* South Africa recorded its first current account surplus in 17 years in the first quarter of 2020 as the trade balance more than doubled, central bank data showed on Thursday;
* Two people were killed on Thursday in an explosion at Glencore-owned Astron Energy’s 100,000 barrel per day refinery in Cape Town, the company said as it promised a full investigation;
* There’s been a shake-up at Allan Gray, South Africa’s largest privately owned asset manager, starting with a new Chief Investment Officer; and
* Tesla has overtaken Toyota as the world’s most valuable automaker. Shares of Tesla, which have more than doubled since the start of the year, climbed as much as 3.5% in intraday trading Wednesday, giving it a market capitalisation of $207.2bn, surpassing Toyota’s $201.9bn, says Bloomberg.
BizNews — It’s easy to pick holes in a strategy which affects nearly 60 million lives – it’s entirely another thing to take full responsibility for your part in it and to own up when things don’t work. In this exclusive story, Professor Salim Karim, the man leading the way on scientific coronavirus advice to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mhkize, gives us unique insight into just how far his reach goes, what he can advise on, and what he has no control over. – Chris Bateman
BizNews — Globally, South Africans punch far above their weight in many fields. It’s quite an achievement for a country with less than 1% of the global population to have given the world Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Elon Musk, Trevor Noah and many of Europe’s leading bankers. But until the coronavirus pandemic grabbed the national attention, apart from famous heart transplant pioneer Dr Chris Barnard the extraorodinary contribution by SA’s scientists had passed most by. For instance, the country has produced a clutch of Nobel Prize winning scientists, one of whom, Prof Michael Levitt, is still very much alive. Among the SA heavyweights with huge global reputations is UCT Prof Linda-Gail Bekker, chief operating officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Prof Bekker is the immediate past president of the 11 000 member International Aids Society which hosts the world’s largest health or development event in the world; is a Rockefeller University alumnus (25 Nobel prizewinners); and an advisor to the US’s massive Aids outreach programme PEPFAR. In this interview, which ranges from pre-exposure prophylaxis to protecting the elderly, from fake news to BCG, her contribution is pure quality. A rare Rational Perspective in an increasingly noisy Covid-19 landscape.
BizNews — Sun International’s Latin American partner is aiming to acquire a controlling stake of the company, which is battling Covid-19 containment measures as are all hospitality companies. In this podcast, BizNews founder Alec Hogg explores the unsolicited R1.5bn bid by Nueva Inversiones Pacifico Sur.
BizNews — In Episode 54 of Inside Covid-19, some expert insight (and good news) as SA hits number five among the world’s new daily infection table; a global South African tech guru breaks new ground on the coronavirus with an agent-based artificial intelligence model; there’s bad news for restaurant owners worldwide as at least 25% are expected to never re-open; and another brilliant investigation by our partners at the Wall Street Journal – this time into why infections in the hard-hit USA are back at new record levels – and what other countries like South Africa can learn from it. – Alec Hogg
BizNews — There were some memorable meetings during our UK sojourn from 2016 to May last year. One of them was this on-the-record interview with independent cigarette manufacturer Yusuf Kajee, owner of Pietermaritzburg-based Amalgamated Tobacco. Kajee, accompanied by business partner Paul De Robillard, expressed himself so freely that, at the time, publishing all his opinions would most likely have landed us in an expensive law suit. So after a fruitless attempt to engage with parties he attacked, I put the 45 minute interview to one side, promising myself to return to it at a more appropriate time. In recent weeks, much of what Kajee alleged is now in the public domain. And with a couple of hard hitting books putting tobacco back in the limelight and government’s controversial banning of cigarettes, there is plenty of interest in the industry and the controversial personalities who play in it. So here’s the edited version of what was originally a 45 minute gospel according to devout Moslem Yusuf Kajee – business partner of Jacob Zuma’s son Edward; the man who lost a kidney to poisoning; arch enemy of Paul O’Sullivan; and someone SARS calls “Mr Half Pregnant”. Fascinating. – Alec Hogg
BizNews — Hotel owners and others in the hospitality industry have been paying for business interruption as part of their business insurance policy premiums. But, insurers are refusing to pay for the extreme revenue losses incurred as governments have ordered businesses to close their doors to halt the spread of Covid-19. Insurance companies are ducking and diving around policy wordings and playing a tactical delay game to save themselves from having to pay out vast sums. Many hospitality businesses cannot survive a double whammy of their own insurers refusing to pay and other large companies, like online travel agencies Booking.com and Expedia forcing them to refund non-refundable deposits. Corporations like Expedia, which dominate search engines, have rewritten contracts in their favour – and to the detriment of hotel owners – as the Covid-19 situation has evolved. In this interview with BizNews founder Alec Hogg, hotelier William van der Riet and insurance claims expert Ryan Woolley unpack the business insurance rip-off of the century