Auditor General Ban Sinks Nkonki

Audit firm Nkonki’s largest office has applied for voluntary liquidation, after the auditor-general’s decision to terminate its contracts with the company scuppered plans by executives to buy out disgraced majority shareholder Mitesh Patel. Nkonki Sunninghill, which employs 180 people, was left with no other option but to voluntarily wind up the company, the firm said in a statement on Monday afternoon issued via its lawyers, Nicqui Galaktiou Inc.

Source

Brian Molefe Fails To Repay Pension Payments

Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, told Business Day on Monday that Molefe had not adhered to their demand. Molefe’s legal team had only replied in an e-mail stating they would take instructions from him on the matter and get back to the union. But according to Van der Bijl, there has not been any further correspondence. Molefe had sought to have the high court overturn a January ruling by a full bench that ordered him to repay R11m in pension payments unlawfully paid to him by the Eskom Pension Fund.

Source

ANN7 Rebranded To Afro World View

Mzwanele Manyi, owner of Afrotone Media Holdings, said on Monday ANN7 would change its name to Afro Worldview on April 30. The New Age (TNA) newspaper would be rebranded as Afro Voice and its editorial policy would be in line with the press code. Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments announced in late 2017 its withdrawal from its media interests‚ selling its shareholding in Infinity Media (ANN7) and TNA to Lodidox and management for R450m. Oakbay Investments vendor-financed the deals, essentially lending Manyi the money to buy the businesses.

Source

Rand Slides Past R12.30 To Dollar

The rand continued its slide during the early hours of Tuesday, weakening to R12.37 to the dollar at about 2.30am before regaining some lost ground to trade at R12.33 at 7am. Reuters reported the dollar set a three-month high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, having gained a boost as the US 10-year Treasury yield climbed toward the psychologically key 3% level.

Source

Treasury Working On New Procurement Laws

The bill which is currently with the chief state law advisor for certification aims to overcome the fragmentation in current procurement legislation. Once certified by the state law advisor the bill will be submitted to cabinet and once approved will be published for public comment. When enacted the Public Procurement Bill will repeal the PPPFA in its entirety. With an annual procurement budget of over R900bn, government can be a powerful instrument for achieving economic transformation.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R117,300 . Ether R8,609 . R/USD12.33 . R/GBP17.19 . R/EUR15.06

 

Advertisements

Steinhoff Paid Wiese €325m Before Collapse

On Tuesday, Steinhoff stunned investors and corporate governance analysts when it confirmed media reports that the company had prepaid Wiese €325m during October and November 2017 for Shoprite shares, just weeks before Steinhoff collapsed. Unlike South African company law, there is no provision in the Dutch law requiring oversight of the provision of loans or financial assistance to directors. Section 45 of the South African Companies Act requires a board resolution and also requires that shareholders agree to any payments made to directors.

Source

KPMG Under Fire Over VBS Scandal

KPMG has suspended one of its top executives who was the lead partner on VBS Mutual Bank which has been accused of severe mismanagement and fraud. The South African Reserve Bank has red flagged the bank, saying that nearly R1 billion cannot be accounted for. KPMG has now taken action against Sipho Malaba who signed off the independent auditors’ report on the bank’s accounts until July 2017

Source

McKinsey & Trillian To Repay Eskom

Global consulting firm McKinsey and Gupta-associated Trillian Capital Partners have both agreed to repay the R1.6bn they received from Eskom and will not oppose Eskom’s court application to get them to pay back the money.

Source

JSE Pulls Sagarmatha Listing

Sagarmatha’s failure to submit its annual financial statements to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) was behind the JSE’s decision not to allow it to go ahead with a proposed listing on Friday. On Wednesday, the company was due to announce the results of a private placement ahead of the Friday listing. However, instead of this announcement, shortly after 6pm the company released a Sens statement, saying that the JSE had decided the listing could not go ahead.

Source

Facebook To Incentivise Whistleblowers

Facebook yesterday launched a data abuse bounty program to incentivise anyone who can prove the misuse of Facebook data. In an effort to clean up its tattered reputation, the online social media company which has been criticised for its data breach and exposed the information of millions of Facebook users has launched a bounty program.

Source

Burgh Group To Run Gupta Mines

South Africa’s Burgh Group Holdings won a temporary contract to keep mines linked to the Gupta family afloat, according to a business-rescue manager for the assets. Other parties offered financing, but Burgh “came without conditions,” Louis Klopper, a bankruptcy-proceedings manager at Coronado Consulting Group, said Wednesday. Burgh is “an ideal partner” to provide technical expertise and banking facilities, he said, without disclosing financial terms.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R84,874 . Ether R5,300 . R/USD11.98 . R/GBP16.99 . R/EUR14.81

Zuma To Make First Court Appearance

Almost 11 years after he was first served an indictment in the graft case against him, former president Jacob Zuma will finally have his day in court on Friday when he appears in the High Court in Durban. Zuma is facing 16 charges — one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

Source

Steinhoff Drops Director Bonuses Plans

Steinhoff International Holdings NV shelved a plan to pay director bonuses after lawmakers questioned whether it was appropriate to release extra funds given the retailer has lost more than 90% of its market value amid an accounting scandal. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US was planning to ask shareholders to approve payouts to board members including Chairman Heather Sonn as a reward for their work trying to keep the company afloat.

Source

Unpaid Etolls Now Valued At R9.2 Billion

President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken charge of Gauteng’s e-toll headache, bringing hope that the impasse between motorists and the provincial government could soon be resolved. In November 2017, motorists in the province owed R9.2bn. Motorists claim the funding model was not adequately canvassed and the levy will further impoverish poor workers. Gauteng Premier David Makhura in February conceded that the highly contested e-tolls system was a failure. He said a new model was needed to fund road development.

Source

Consol Glass To relist On JSE

Glass packaging manufacturer Consol Holdings on Thursday announced its intention to list its issued ordinary shares on the main board of the JSE. Consol, which provides glass packaging products to customers in a variety of industries including beer, wine, flavoured alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, spirits and food, said it expects to be listed in the Industrials: Containers and Packaging sector of the JSE.

Source

Govt Wage Bill Now At R587 Billion

Government’s public wage bill has become so big, that it’s fast becoming the single-biggest problem in the budget – siphoning funding from other vital functions, like service delivery. As it stands, the government wage bill is almost a full third of the annual budget, sitting at R587 billion. National Treasury has warned that the size of the public sector wage bill needed to be reined in as departments were starting to hit their “compensation ceilings”, noting further that public sector wages had increased 10.3% annually since 2009, significantly higher than the rate of inflation.

Source

Sappi Signs Govt Power Plant Deal

Sappi has signed an agreement with the Department of Energy to build a renewable energy plant at its mill in Mpumalanga. Sappi and consortium partners KC Africa and African Rainbow Energy and Power would spend a combined R1.8bn on a 25MW biomass energy unit at the company’s Ngodwana mill, said Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel. Sappi will have a 30% stake in the facility, which is expected to contribute to the national grid from July 2020.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R82,576 . Ether R4,722 . R/USD12.01 . R/GBP16.80 . R/EUR14.69

 

 

Interest Rate May Be Cut Tomorrow

Thanks to Moody’s stable outlook for SA, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) will likely reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday.  This is the conclusion of Nedbank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) division after it analysed its latest Interest Rate Barometer. A 25 basis points cut would lower the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow money from the SARB, to 6.5% and the prime lending rate to consumers to 10%.

Source

Minimum Wage To Be Delayed

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant confirmed on Monday evening that it will not be possible to implement the new minimum wage legislation on the envisaged date of May 1 because the parliamentary process will not be completed by then. Oliphant said that the bills were highly contested and “it has become apparent that the ambition for the National Minimum Wage Bill to become law by May 1 2018 may not be practical given the high volumes of public submissions.

Source

Listeriosis Will Cost Rainbow An Estimated R75 million

Its best estimate of the direct and identifiable cost of the listeriosis outbreak is R75 million, Rainbow Chicken’s parent company RCL told shareholders on Monday afternoon. That includes the costs of recalling its chicken polony, destroying recalled products, testing costs, and advertising and in-store communication. Those are hard to estimate, RCL said, but could be around R20 million in profit lost a month, every month, until things return to normal.

Source

Mkhwebane Investigating DWS & SAP Contract

The Public Protector is investigating a R671 million ($60 million) government contract with German software firm SAP , which has admitted misconduct in separate deals involving friends of ousted president Jacob Zuma. The Public Protector’s office said it had received an anonymous letter alleging due process was not followed in the award of a contract to SAP in 2016 to provide IT and support services to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

Source

MTN To Launch Namibian Operation

MTN plans to enter Namibia’s mobile-operator market through a tie-up with a state telecommunications firm. MTN Business Solutions Namibia, which is 30% owned by local shareholders, and local company Demshi Investment Holdings, will enter the market from June 2018 as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Both operators were in negotiations to use state-owned TN Mobile’s 3G and LTE network. TN has a market share of just 4.5%, while MTC, another state-owned operator, has a share of 95.5%.

Source

Capitec And Sanlam Announce Bancassurance Deal

Capitec is expected to announce a bancassurance joint venture with Sanlam, alongside its financial results due Tuesday. In an interview with Moneyweb, Sanlam chief executive Ian Kirk said the joint venture would see Sanlam become an insurance partner to the banking group. “We are delighted with the opportunity to partner with Capitec. We like the bank, we think they are quite innovative, they’ve grown well and they’ve identified the need to offer insurance and savings plans to their client base to broaden their offerings and to improve their positioning with their clients in South Africa.

Source

Western Cape Considering Provincial Fuel Levy

The Western Cape provincial government is looking to introduce a provincial fuel levy, over and above the national levy currently imposed on all South African motorists – but it likely won’t be coming for a while. The decision taken in April/May 2017 by the Western Cape Cabinet is that before any consultation can happen, the fuel levy research which was done in 2005 will have to be updated.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R98,550 . Ether R5,648 . R/USD11.66 . R/GBP16.59 . R/EUR14.52

 

Schabir Shaik To Testify In Zuma Trial

Former President Jacob Zuma’s ex-financial advisor Schabir Shaik has confirmed that he has been approached by the Hawks and asked to testify in Zuma’s trial. Shaik was convicted of corrupting Zuma in 2005‚ and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released on medical parole on March 3‚ 2009 after serving just over two years of that sentence. A panel of medical experts had concluded that he was terminally ill. During his trial‚ Shaik remained adamant that the hundreds of payments he made to Zuma‚ then KwaZulu-Natal Tourism MEC and later deputy president‚ were either gifts or part of a revolving loan agreement.

Source

Gordhan Warns SARS Reshuffle Coming

The South African Revenue Service’s leadership team has no credibility and will soon be changed, according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. “It’s out there in the public domain that leadership team has lost all credibility and the time for change, it should be sooner rather than later,” said Gordhan, who clashed with Moyane over the management of the tax authority when he was finance minister. Getting the revenue service right, “is not too far away,” he said.

Source

Gupta VAT Refunds Under Question

Tax boss Tom Moyane aided possible acts of money laundering and fraud while contravening the VAT and Tax Acts when he allegedly pressured SARS officials to illegally effect three VAT payments to the Guptas into the account of a third party. Within two weeks from Oakbay Investments (Pty) Ltd director Ronica Ragavan’s first “urgent” request dated 22 May 2017, SARS paid the first of three VAT payments amounting to R70-million. Two smaller VAT payments were pushed through in July and August 2017.

Source

Toll Road Workers TO GO On Strike

National routes across the country are expected to be affected by a toll workers strike on Monday morning. The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) said in a statement on Sunday that its members who were employed by Intertoll Africa, a subsidiary of Group 5, will embark on a national strike on Monday from 6am. Routes affected are the N1 from South Grasmere Plaza to Free State, N4 from Magalies to Rustenburg and N2 from Mthunzini to Othangathi

Source

ANN7 Wants Free To Air License

ICASA said it has received four applications for Individual Commercial Free-to-Air Television Broadcasting Service Licences. Among the applicants is Infinity Media Networks, the parent of former Gupta-owned news network ANN7. The company previously applied for a free-to-air TV licence in 2014, during ICASA’s last Invitation to Apply.

Source

Gupta’s Dubai Hospital Plans Exposed

The poor in North West and Free State were fleeced to build a billion-dollar hospital for the rich in Dubai, in a plan concocted by the Gupta family. Out of the R954 charged per patient for screening by healthcare provider Mediosa, R650 was to be paid to subcontracted companies from Dubai. The money would then be funnelled into the companies’ United Arab Emirates bank accounts, from where it would be used to fund the Guptas’ new business venture: Dubai Healthcare City.

Source

Esidimeni Hearings Could Cost R47Million

The total cost of the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings is expected to cost the Gauteng government around R47-million in total. This was disclosed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in a written a reply to questions in the Gauteng legislature, Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said. So far, the alternative dispute resolution process has cost R15.7-million. More than half the expense has been spent on the Emoyeni Conference Centre as the venue for the hearings, which cost R8.4-million.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R102,580 . Ether R6,702 . R/USD11.98 . R/GBP16.70 . R/EUR14.72

Ramaphosa Clarifies Land reform Plans

South Africa’s government will ensure land reform takes place as a matter of urgency without harming agricultural production, but it won’t allow people to forcibly take over farms, President Cyril Ramaphosa said. A land audit released by the government in February showed that farms and agricultural holdings comprise 97% of the 121.9 million hectares of the nation’s area. Whites own 72% of the 37 million hectares held by individuals, more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Source

SOE’s Present Revival Plans

Chief executives of state-owned entities (SOEs) this week presented President Cyril Ramaphosa with ambitious proposals to reignite the South African economy. The business leaders, led by Telkom chief executive Sipho Maseko, said that the plans were aimed at rekindling manufacturing, meaningful employment in the crucial agriculture sector and the development of logistics systems to accelerate economic growth, among others.

Source

Zuma Should Pay His Own Fees If Guilty

Responding to a question from EFF leader Julius Malema, Ramaphosa revealed that the government had contributed a total of R15.3m towards Zuma’s legal costs since 2006. Of this amount, approximately R7.5m was spent between 2006 and the withdrawal of the corruption charges against Zuma in 2009. The state had paid a total R7.8m on Zuma’s legal costs since 2009. Ramaphosa explained that Zuma had entered into an agreement with the government that the money would be paid back if he is found to have been personally responsible for the crimes he was accused of.

Source

A Third of Moz Plants Destroyed By Pests And Disease

Pests and disease sweeping through Mozambique have destroyed at least a third of the country’s agricultural crops over the past 11 months, a government spokeswoman said. More than 41,000 hectares of crops in Mozambique have been affected by pests including caterpillars and fruit flies.

Source

KPMG And Deloitte Fined By US Authorities

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has slapped KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and BDO for their involvement in audit work that circumvented its guidelines. The firms agreed to settle the charges by paying penalties or disgorging their profits from the audits.Without admitting or denying the findings, BDO Canada agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty, KPMG in South Africa agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty, Deloitte in Zimbabwe agreed to pay disgorgement and interest totaling $99,057, and KPMG in Zimbabwe agreed to pay disgorgement and interest totaling $141,305. 
Toys R Us Officially Shuts

Toys R Us employees have been informed that the company is selling or closing all its US stores as part of a liquidation plan. According to USA Today, Toys R Us will file liquidation papers in advance of a court hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Source

3500 Tons Of Polony And Cold Meat Returned

Tiger Brands had recalled 3 500 tons of its Enterprise ready-to-eat, chilled meat products by Monday. This, as it awaits the outcome of a report it commissioned on why the ST6 strain of listeria was found at its Polokwane facility.

Source

Bitcoin Drops Below $8000

The price of bitcoin is down to start the day, dropping below $8,000 during early-hours trading on Thursday according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). At press time, the price of bitcoin is roughly $7,811.22 across global exchanges, a figure that represents a decline of over $300 from the day’s open, and the lowest price observed on the index since Feb. 11, when the BPI hit a low of $7,845.13.

Source

Currencies: R97,904 . Ether R7,325 . R/USD11.77 . R/GBP16.45 . R/EUR14.57

VBS Bank Placed Under Curatorship

The South African Reserve Bank has put tiny VBS Mutual Bank under curatorship. The bank ran into severe liquidity trouble after it failed to act on repeated warnings that its dependence on unlawful municipal deposits put it at risk. VBS had continued to take deposits from municipalities, even after the Treasury warned six municipalities in August that it was illegal in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act for them to bank with mutual banks.

Source

Vodacom And MTN Subscribers Pay 26000% More For Out Of Bundle Data

Vodacom’s prepaid data prices are up to 200% more expensive than comparable contract prices. The situation is worse when comparing in-bundle and out-of-bundle prices, with OOB prices between 580% and 2,600% more expensive. MTN, in turn, charges up to 234% more for prepaid data bundles than for comparable contract products.

Source

Mugabe Wants Pension In Cash

Although there is almost no cash inside banks or at ATMs in Zimbabwe, and at times it’s a struggle to receive change at supermarkets because most people pay for their groceries with electronic cash, Robert Mugabe is demanding his massive pension payout in cash. The monthly payment of Mugabe’s tax free pension in cash is estimated to be more than R150 000 a month since he has commuted R5.5million from the state’s pension fund.

Source

Toys R Us Could Go Out Of Business 

Bankrupt retailer Toys “R” Us may shut all its US stores as soon as next week, according to several reports. And everything isn’t awesome for privately held European toy giant Lego either. The plastic bricks maker reported its first sales drop in thirteen years earlier this week. So these are clearly tough times for the toy makers. Toys “R” Us recently went into administration in the UK, paving the path for stores there to shut their doors.

Source

Supersports Influence In Rugby Under Question

SuperSport’s influence on South African rugby is at the centre of SA Rugby’s upcoming elections. The unions reportedly argued that SuperSport’s minority share interest in the Sharks and the Cheetahs “provides it a platform to influence major rugby decisions”. A source told the Sunday Times that SuperSport – which is the broadcast rights holder of rugby in the country – was wielding its power behind the scenes.

Source

Gupta Brothers Have Multiple Passports

The Gupta brothers each have multiple South African passports that will enable them to continue to travel for some time. Citing copies of computer records from the home affairs department, Rapport said that a valid passport was delivered to Dubai as early as three weeks ago for Ajay Gupta’s wife Chetali – her third passport.

Source

Currencies: Bcoin R119,653 . Ether R9,038 . R/USD11.82 . R/GBP16.38 . R/EUR14.56