News in South Africa 5th February 2020:
1. Warrant out for Zuma’s Arrest:
While a warrant of arrest has been issued against former president Jacob Zuma, it won’t be executed before he is due to appear in court again in May.
The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg acceded to a request to issue a warrant of arrest for Zuma for non-attendance at his corruption trial on Tuesday morning. Zuma’s legal team submitted to court that the former president was ill.
While the warrant was issued by Judge Dhaya Pillay, the execution thereof has been stayed until May 6, when Zuma is expected to appear in court again.
2. Load shedding still occurs in rush hour traffic:
Eskom says it will not be able to suspend stage 2 load shedding during the morning rush hour on Wednesday as it continues to experience higher demand than forecast.
Stage 2 load shedding is set to continue until Thursday morning.
Suspending power cuts in the morning between 6am and 9am and in the afternoon between 4pm and 6pm is a new initiative intended to lessen the impact of load shedding on commuters. It was announced on Monday.
But the programme is contingent on the availability of spare generating capacity.
3. Steinhoff shares jump 47%:
Steinhoff’s share price jumped 28% on Tuesday following a report of a possible takeover bid for its European retail group, Pepco Group.
Pepco owns the cut-price retailer Pepco, which has more than 1 600 stores in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the UK chain Poundland, which famously sells branded products for a pound, and Dealz, which does business in Ireland, Poland and Spain.
Sky News reported on Monday that a former owner of Poundland is plotting a takeover deal with two private equity firms, in a transaction that could value Steinhoff’s European company at more than €4.5bn (R74 billion)
4. CNA to be bought out:
The new CEO – and part-owner – of the CNA chain has big plans to stock the stores with books in African languages and make each outlet distinct.
After working for months on crafting an offer to buy the CNA chain from Edcon, Benjamin Trisk, the former CEO of Exclusive Books, finally has the deal in hand.
On Tuesday, Edcon announced that it will sell CNA to a consortium lead by Astoria Investments, an investment firm controlled by the asset manager RECM and Calibre Limited (RAC).
Last year, the group was saved from collapse by securing a R2.7 billion lifeline – a deal struck with landlords, the Public Investment Corporation, and creditors. It has already shut the loss-making Boardmans and Red Square chains.
5. Vodacom adds almost 500 000 as prices drop:
Vodacom has added almost half a million users in South Africa in three months, thanks in part to a promotional campaign.
In a trading update for the quarter to end-December 2019, the mobile phone giant said it added 484,000 customers in South Africa, and 1.7 million international customers during the period. It now has 117 million customers across the group.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, said in a statement that the growth in South Africa was helped by its summer campaign, which delivered 334 million free rewards to 17 million customers.