SAP Admits Paying R128Bn Gupta Bribes

SAP SE said a probe into its dealings with South Africa’s Guptas found that the German software giant paid about R128.6 million ($10.7 million) to businesses linked to the family to win contracts with state-owned companies. Three senior executives who were suspended last year have now quit.

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MTN TO Try Banking Services Again

After pulling the plug on its mobile money business in SA in 2016, MTN wanted to have another crack at financial services in its home market, CEO Rob Shuter said on Thursday. “But we’re building quite a lot of new features around that: loan products, investment products, insurance.… It’s different across the different markets, but [advanced financial services] is a big focus of ours”. The group was looking at “all markets”. MTN had 22-million mobile money customers in 14 markets at the end of 2017.

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CCMA Rules Against Eskom On Suzanne Daniels

The CCMA has found that Eskom’s suspension of its head of legal and compliance, Suzanne Daniels, was an unfair labour practice. In an arbitration award, dated March 6, the CCMA commissioner Prince Kekana said: “The respondent party Eskom is ordered to uplift the suspension with immediate effect and take (Daniels) back into its employ with effect from March 18, 2018.”

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Jeff Radebe To Sign Renewables Deals

South Africa will sign long-delayed agreements with 27 independent power producers next week, according to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. The signing, scheduled for March 13, will breathe life into a national renewable-energy program that was once the world’s fastest growing but has since stagnated. The deals to be concluded next week will release 56 billion rand ($4.7 billion) of investment over the next two to three years, the minister said in Cape Town Thursday.

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SAA Made Nett Loss Of R5.6Bn In 2017 Financials

South African Airways may not be able to continue to operate as a going concern, while the struggling state-owned airline has failed to properly record financial information and the value of assets, according to the Auditor General. SAA made a net loss of about R5.6 billion ($471 million) in the year through March 2017, according to a document signed by AG Kimi Makwetu. Liabilities exceeded assets by about R17.8 billion, it said.

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Sanlam TO Buy Moroccan Insurer For R1 Billion

Sanlam is to acquire 100% of Moroccan insurance group SAHAM Finances, effectively rendering it the largest non-banking financial services group in Africa. It has announced plans to buy out the remaining 53.37% shareholding in SAHAM for $1.05 billion. Sanlam, together with subsidiary Santam, first acquired a joint 30% stake in SAHAM in 2016 and upped that stake by further 16.6% in 2017

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Joemat-Petersen Lies Exposed By Kubayi

The government has admitted for the first time that the secret disposal of 10.3-million barrels of SA’s strategic oil reserves by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) in December 2015 had indeed been a sale and not a “rotation of stock”, as former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson repeatedly had asserted to justify her approval of the deal. Newly appointed Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi apologised to MPs and Parliament on Tuesday for their having been misled about the nature of the transaction. This was after DA energy spokesman Gordon Mackay expressed concern that the energy portfolio committee had been misled.

Source : https://goo.gl/7qiwSZ

S.A May Appeal Court Ruling On Nuclear

South Africa’s government may appeal last week’s court judgment declaring a cooperation pact with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom unlawful, the energy minister said on Tuesday. South Africa and Russia signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in 2014 for cooperation between Rosatom and South African utility Eskom, which aims to build 9 600 MW of nuclear capacity to wean the African nation off coal.

Source : https://goo.gl/cTKcIb

McDonalds Accused Of Overcharging Franchisees

McDonald’s should be investigated for gouging franchisees on rents and deceiving them about how the amounts are calculated, a labour union said in letters to two state attorneys general. US franchisees paid the world’s biggest fast-food chain more than $3bn in rents last year, a rate of return on McDonald’s real-estate investments that’s as much as triple the industry average. McDonalds has denied the allegations.

Source : https://goo.gl/gDDkhG

MTN Releases Encouraging Revenue Numbers

MTN has released its quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2017. The company stated that it currently serves approximately 237 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Group total revenue increased by 7.1%, with data revenues up 29.4% year-on-year. Data revenue contributed 20% to total revenue, said MTN.

Source : https://goo.gl/j0W4In

Look & Listen To Close Final Store

The Look & Listen at Hillfox Value Centre – the last one in South Africa – will soon close, marking the end of an era. Look & Listen was started nearly 50 years ago by Rob Ziegler. In February 2013, Look & Listen halted its online purchases, and in June 2014, the company was placed under business rescue.

Source : https://goo.gl/Rjzy4x

Indicators : Oil50.87 – Rand/USD 13.32 – Rand/GBP 17.16 – Rand/EUR 14.56

R24 Million Cash Heist At O.R Tambo

Police are investigating after R24 million in cash was stolen from a plane at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening. After the SAA flight landed, people in a marked police vehicle intercepted the money. A white Mercedes-Benz is believed to have been used in the operation. Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said a high-level investigation, involving all law enforcement agencies, was underway. He declined to divulge further information.

Source : https://goo.gl/yHe4NS

MTN Announces New CEO

MTN has announced that Godfrey Motsa is the new CEO of MTN SA and he will start at MTN on 13 March. The announcement follows the news that current MTN SA CEO Mteto Nyati is leaving the company to join Altron. Motsa is currently VP of the SEA region at MTN Group.

Source : https://goo.gl/JKAf9z

Gauteng Budget Released

Infrastructure and Education take up the biggest slice in the Gauteng R108-billion provincial budget for 2017/18, which this year included the addition of R10-billion to departmental baselines.Finance MEC Barbara Creecy said R44.4-billion had been set aside for infrastructure spend over the 2017 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

Source : https://goo.gl/rDhzKC

Racing Pigeon Bought For R5 Million

Two South African pigeon farmers paid a record R5 million to buy a racing pigeon in Belgium. The Belgian pigeon, called “Golden Prince” was put up for auction by conservation group Pipa, and with a closing bid of €360,000 (R4.94 million), has now become the most expensive pigeon ever sold, replacing the former record holder “Bolt”, which sold for €310,000 (R4.25 million) in 2010.

Source : https://goo.gl/SVKWA8

Wikileaks Publishes Biggest Ever Leak Of CIA Documents

The thousands of leaked documents focus mainly on techniques for hacking and reveal how the CIA cooperated with British intelligence to engineer a way to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices. The revelations in the documents include : CIA hackers targeted smartphones and computers and the Center for Cyber Intelligence, based at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, has a second covert base in the US consulate in Frankfurt which covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Source : https://goo.gl/XENhWD

Trump Releases Details Of Plan To Replace Obamacare – It Sucks

After months of wait for an official Republican plan to replace Obamacare, the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees unleashed legislation dubbed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) late Monday that would nix the existing health law’s unpopular mandate to buy insurance and pare back its far more popular expansion of Medicaid for the working poor, among other provisions. Health experts have said “It will be the biggest transfer of wealth from low- and middle-income people to wealthy people in our country. Show us the numbers as to how many people will be thrown off. It couldn’t be worse.”

Source : https://goo.gl/q4zKwd

IndicatorsOil 55.63 – Rand/USD 12.97 – Rand/GBP 15.78 – Rand/EUR 13.69

Simplified Sona Breakdown.

Beyond the drama, Zuma actually said some things which we need to note. These are the things which he plans to do in the coming year. Zuma says the economy will grow 1.3% this year and he also said Eskom will sign the outstanding power purchase agreements for renewable energy in line with the procured rounds. They have been delaying this. Govt plans to create 6 million new work opportunities in state-run public works by the end of 2019. Importantly the number of  R32 billion. That is how much government has shifted around in the budget to support students. Zuma also switched from “A good story to tell” to “radical economic transformation” as a buzz word. Remains to be seen if govt delivers.

Trump Commits To One-China Policy

Donald Trump reaffirmed the U.S.’s long-standing support for the ‘One-China’ policy in his first phone call as president with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. “The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘One-China’ policy,” the White House said in a statement yesterday.

Sekunjalo Launches R500m Impact Fund

The Sekunjalo Investment Group is launching a R500 million impact fund to boost entrepreneurship, shore up renewable energy initiatives and support women-owned businesses. International investors will be invited to join the fund, which is immediately seeded with R500m by Sekunjalo, and is projected to grow exponentially, and is expected to reach R2bn within a year of being launched.

MTN To Acquire 49% Of Iranian Govt ISP

MTN is near an agreement with the Iranian government to acquire a 49% stake in a state-owned internet provider. MTN already owns a 49% stake in Tehran-based mobile carrier Irancell Telecommunication Services and has been repatriating some of the $1 billion (R13.44 billion) that had been trapped in Iran before restrictions were removed.

ANOTHER Kuga Goes Up In Flames

Johannesburg businessman‚ Warren Krog‚ says his guardian angels worked overtime on Thursday. Krog was en route to work when he noticed smoke coming from the back of his 2013 Ford Kuga. Krog’s Kuga is the 45th to have been destroyed by fire on SA’s roads since Reshall Jimmy burnt to death in his in December while on holiday in Wilderness in the Western Cape. At least nine Kugas have caught fire since the start of the year.

Group 5 Takes A Pounding

Group Five shares took a hammering on the JSE on Thursday after the listing construction and engineering group disclosed it expected to report a fully diluted headline loss a share of between 300c and 320c for the six months to December. The group attributed this to a combination of its R225 million socio-economic contribution in terms of the agreement reached with the government to implement a programme of initiatives to accelerate transformation of the construction sector and a difficult period for the group’s engineering and construction cluster.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 55.77 – Rand/USD 13.37 – Rand/GBP 16.67 – Rand/EUR 14.24

Cosatu Derails MinWage Agreement

Cosatu took its Nedlac counterparts by surprise on Tuesday, putting the brakes on a minimum wage deal that everyone thought was in the bag. The signing-in ceremony for the minimum wage deal that was due to take place on Tuesday had to be postponed indefinitely when it emerged that Cosatu was still not happy with the package. However Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has already signed the deal according to secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) Dennis George as saying it was a done deal.

Cell C Downgraded To Junk Status

S&P Global says Cell C missed interest payments and has been given the “d” rating for defaulting. The company has been working with Blue Label Telecoms to reduce its debt. This includes a planned 45% acquisition of Cell C by Blue Label. However, apart from the downgrade, S&P Global says it notes that Cell C has not sought bankruptcy protection and expects that it will continue to operate and meet its payroll and supplier obligations.

MTN Shares Drop And It Expects Full Year Loss

MTN’s share price lost nearly 7% to R110 on Wednesday morning after it warned shareholders it expected to report a basic and headline loss per share for the year to end-December. It said the loss was mainly due to the fine it received in Nigeria for failing to identify subscribers. The fine will drag its basic and headline earnings per share down by about R4.74.

SABC Loses Appeal To Bring Hlaudi Back

The SABC’s attempts to get Hlaudi Motsoeneng back have been dealt a blow after the Western Cape High Court dismissed the appeal application on Tuesday. The SABC had appealed the removal of Motsoeneng from the SABC and the matter was argued in the High Court last week.

Ngubane Denies Hiding Eskom Report

Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane says he is not deliberately hiding anything which is of public interest regarding the report by law firm Dentons. Dentons had been was appointed to look into the state of affairs at Eskom in 2008 when the country suffered from a blackout costing the economy billions of rands.

Currencies And Stuff

Oil 54.77 – Rand/USD 13.51 – Rand/GBP 16.85 – Rand/EUR 14.40