News in South Africa 27th October:
1. Another lockdown impossible:
Economists and analysts say that another hard lockdown in South Africa will be an impossible situation – which could lead to ‘state violence’.
As second- and third waves of Covid-19 sweep the US, Europe and other parts of the world, with South Africa’s infection rate starting to trend upwards somewhat, persistent talk of a second hard lockdown has the nation restless, and fearful.
However, economists say the country’s economy would not survive the move, and that other crises in the county would spiral.
“It would be impossible to have another hard lockdown… I’m afraid there will be even more state violence… The hunger crisis is not gone yet…” stated Dick Forslund, Economist – Alternative Information and Development Centre
2. MTN Nigeria CEO resigns:
Ferdi Moolman has resigned as CEO of MTN Nigeria, and will return to the company’s local head office as the new group chief risk office.
Ferdi Moolman will step down from his role as MTN Nigeria CEO with effect from 1 March 2021 and will return to the head office in South Africa to assume the GCRO role on the same date.
Ferdi (57) joined MTN in 2002 and has held several senior positions within the Group in Nigeria and in Iran. He has spent the past five years as the CEO of MTN Nigeria and during that time, significant progress has been made in stabilizing the business and setting it on a sustainable growth path.
The management of enterprise-wide risk is integral to MTNs growth strategy and Ferdi will bring extensive operational and financial experience to the role given his deep knowledge of the Group, its markets and the telecoms sector. As such, this appointment establishes the role of a chief risk officer as an integral part of the executive committee (EXCO), on which Ferdi will continue to serve.
Karl Toriolam, currently vice president of West and Central Africa (WECA), was appointed as the new MTN Nigeria CEO.
3. No more taxes or state bailouts pleads opposition:
Opposition parties and civil groups are calling on government to avoid raising further taxes and to steer away from bailing out state-owned companies when finance minister Tito Mboweni tables his mid-term budget this week.
They argue that the focus should be on cutting spending and addressing the country’s ballooning debt, not milking an already strained tax base, and ploughing more money into failed enterprises.
SAA, Denel, and the Land Bank are among the SOEs seeking billions – while several taxes have been mooted.
The biggest elephant in the room on Wednesday will no doubt be whether the Finance Minister bows to government pressure to save SAA.
4. Astral Foods profits fall:
The poultry group Astral Foods has warned that its headline profit will by fall by up to 17% for the year to end-September.
- Earnings per share is expected to decrease between 17% (282 cents per share) and 12% (199 cents per share) compared to the previous comparable period. This implies that earnings per share is expected to be between 1 377 and 1 460 cents per share (2019: 1 659 cents per share); and
- Headline earnings per share is expected to decrease between 17% (285 cents per share) and 12% (201 cents per share) compared to the previous comparable period. This implies that headline earnings per share is expected to be between 1 389 cents and 1 473 cents per share (2019: 1 674 cents per share), respectively.
5. Retirement funds running dry:
Lockdown forced many South Africans to tap into their retirement nest-egg to sustain themselves during a period with no income – which will likely have terrible implications for an already poor retirement and savings culture in the country.
Investment manager 10X released its third iteration of the Retirement Reality Report. Previous reports have highlighted the fact that the vast majority of working South Africans are not putting themselves in a position where they’ll be able to retire comfortably. And this year, with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the outlook has further worsened.
According to 10x Investments, three quarters of South Africans are unsure about having enough money to retire, with the same number expecting to have to work after retirement.
The full impact of the lockdown on retirement savings is not yet known, but expected to be significant.