News in South Africa 16th April:
1. System up for 2nd phase of vaccine rollout:
Health minster Dr Zweli Mkhize has launched the Electronic Vaccination Data System for the second phase of the vaccine rollout, which is expected to start in May. The country is expecting 30 million Pfizer doses, with the first batch expected to arrive in May.
The system is now open for people over the age of 60 to register. You need your ID and medical aid card – where applicable – as well as a cellphone number and address.
You will be notified by SMS when you are able to go to your selected vaccination centre.
South Africa’s vaccination task team is confident that 67% of the population will be vaccinated within the current timeframe, with the best-case scenario achieving the goal by December 2021.
2. AYO Tech no longer a client of FNB:
FNB has decided to sack Iqbal Surve-linked IT company AYO Technology Solutions as a client from 3 May.
AYO announced its account’s closure in a cautionary announcement published on the Stock Exchange News Services on Thursday evening.
The company said it was notified about the pending closure of its transactional banking facility without any “valid” explanation and therefore it had decided to take up a legal fight with FNB.
“Despite the company’s best efforts, FNB has not provided AYO with what it regards as valid reasons for termination.
“The company believes that it is entitled to fair treatment, and as a result, the company has instituted legal proceedings against FNB for its decision to close the company’s transactional banking facility,” read the announcement. AYO said it does not have any credit accounts with FNB and was in the process of looking for other options for its transactional banking needs.
FNB is the second of SA’s big commercial banks to close accounts linked to Surve’s businesses. Last month, amaBhungane reported that Absa had severed all ties with companies directly or indirectly controlled by Sekunjalo Investment Holdings eight months ago.
3. Service delivery taken into own hands:
If you’re a Joburg resident, you might have noticed the untended potholes in the area where you live.
The Panorama Residents Association (PRA) in Roodepoort to the west of Joburg says it tried every avenue to get the potholes in its area fixed, to no avail. Despite escalating their complaints up the chain of command at the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), the potholes multiplied, until it became too much for residents to bear.
They complained of buckled wheel rims until they could take it no longer.
The association realised the JRA wasn’t going to get to the job any time soon, so it took matters into its own hands.
For the princely sum of R10 000, the PRA went out and bought one ton of pre-mixed tar and got some local residents to volunteer their time, while a local company EC Security provided a machine and labour to compact the tar.
Oddly enough, a day after starting their volunteer project, the JRA must have read about it in the local Roodepoort Record, because suddenly it sent out a team to start mending potholes in the area.
4. New CEO of African Bank:
Kennedy Bungane has been named the new chief executive officer of African Bank.
Bungane is the former head of Barclays Africa and Absa Group strategy. He also worked at Standard Bank, where he held a number of positions including head of global markets sales.
In a statement on Thursday, African Bank’s Chairperson, Thabo Dloti, said Bungane’s passion for the role that banking can play in transforming society “resonated strongly with the board”.
“He has a proven track record in identifying and nurturing leadership, which promotes strong teams to deliver successful results.”
5. Not enough income for expenses:
Deloitte has published its latest State of the Consumer tracker, which measures consumer sentiment and spending patterns across 18 countries, including South Africa.
The tracker shows that the last year of lockdown has notably impacted spending patterns, with the majority of local consumers planning to cut spending on more discretionary items over the coming month.
“Consumers are being hit by twin concerns – health and livelihoods. Navigating these concerns is leading to a profound shift in consumer behaviour, with South Africans choosing to spend more time at home and exercising caution around big-ticket items and discretionary purchases,” said Rodger George, Africa Consumer Consulting leader at Deloitte.
Deloitte said that financial pressures may also limit consumers’ ability to engage in previous activities. Some 41% of consumers do not have sufficient income to sustain their expenses.
When looking at the items that South Africans plan to spend more on over the next four weeks, the data shows that groceries are at the top of the list (33%).
In addition household goods (20%), internet and mobile data (19%), utilities and medicine (both 18%) remain clear priorities.
At the other end of the scale, South Africans indicate that they plan to cut down on:
- Travel expenses (-49%)
- Furnishings (-46%)
- Alcohol (-43%)
- Restaurants/takeout (-40%)
- Electronics (-30%)