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VALUES CONTINUE TO POWER BRAND
(ltr) McDonalds’ operations director Prashan Maharaj, Raisethorpe restaurant manager Hlengiwe Goge and operations manager Kelvin Abrahams.

Plastic straws will remain on the McDonald's menu for some time, at least until the fast-food group has found a viable alternative, according to operations director Prashan Maharaj. Acknowledging the pollution controversy about plastic straws, Maharaj said efforts are underway to tackle the problem. “Selling 8 million meals a month, means we have to take a host of considerations into account,” he said. Maharaj, with operations manager Kelvin Abrahams, hosted a small media group at the Raisethorpe outlet to showcase McDonald’s quality and consistency, building blocks of the group’s brand. Maharaj and Abrahams presented a brief overview of the practical principles behind the fast-food group’s philosophy, followed by a no-holds barred visit to the engine room, the kitchen, of the outlet. Here, the group witnessed the construction of a Big Mac burger in 50 seconds, from order to delivery, and to demonstrate the use of quality ingredients from reputable suppliers, prepared by state-of-the-art culinary equipment under superlative hygienic standards. (DA)

   
   
Ho-hum, SORE FINGER HOLDS UP TIGON TRAIL

An injury to his finger, allegedly by an inmate in jail, has forced the postponement of the criminal trial against Tigon kingpins Gary Porritt and Sue Bennett. It is understood the trial dealing with more than 3 000 charges of fraud, racketeering and contraventions of the Companies Act, Income Tax Act and the Securities Exchange Act, will resume on May 2. Ah well, for a refresher on the marathon trail, here’s the link.

   
   
 
     
  Today in History  
     
 

1991: The world's first web browser is presented to the public. Known as  WorldWideWeb and later renamed Nexus, it was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist best known as the inventor of the internet.

A cause close to the heart of the SPCA and animal welfare organisations, is the neutering of animals, on World Spay Day, that is observed today.

 
     
  News worth knowing  
     
 

VODACOM FACES PUBLIC FURY OVER ‘ROLL-OVER FEE’

Facing a public backlash over its plans to charge consumers to roll over expiring and unused data, Vodacom said yesterday it was "reviewing" its fees. With SA’s new data expiry rules set to come into effect at the end of this week, social media users expressed their outrage yesterday after discovering that Vodacom planned to charge fees for its "data bundle rollover service". From Friday March 1, mobile operators must let customers roll over unused data, according to regulations set by the Independent Communications Authority of SA. Currently customers typically forfeit any data that remains unused when it expires. After drawing the ire of Twitter users, Vodacom pulled a page on its website, which showed what it planned to charge consumers. The page showed that to roll over a 1GB data bundle with a validity period of more than one day, for example, Vodacom had planned to charge as much as R49. (BDLive)

 
 

HOW WILL AYO PAY BACK PIC MONEY?

In an unprecedented move, the organisation that administers and enforces the Companies Act has instructed the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to recover the R4.3 billion it invested in Ayo Technology Solutions. In making the investment, directors had knowingly caused harm to Africa’s largest asset manager, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) said in a compliance letter sent by commissioner Rory Voller on Thursday. It is the latest in a snowballing series of disasters for Ayo and Iqbal Survé, who holds a large indirect stake in  the company. (BDLive)

 
 

JURY OUT ON RATINGS REVIEW

The consensus among economists is that South Africa will hold onto its investment grade status for the time being. Derivatives traders are not so sure. The cost of insuring South Africa’s government debt against default is higher than Brazil’s, which has a non-investment grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global and Fitch Ratings. South Africa’s 5-year credit default swaps were trading at 184 basis points on Monday, compared to 162 for Brazil. Moody’s, which ranks South Africa’s debt at the lowest investment level, is reviewing its assessment on March 29. The CDS spread was 164 basis points when the company last reviewed, and affirmed, the rating in November. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings both cut the country’s debt to junk in April 2017. "The current CDS signals the market pricing in moderate risk of a downgrade," Shireen Darmalingam, a Johannesburg-based economist at Standard Bank Group, said. (Fin24)

 
 

THE COST OF NOT ENOUGH SLEEP

Sleep-deprived South Africans are costing the economy billions, with lack of sleep linked to 15 leading causes of death, a recent study has found. The cost to just one medical aid scheme of treating life-threatening diseases linked to sleeping less than the recommended eight hours a night is estimated at R22 billion annually, according to a recent study conducted by Charles King, an MBA student at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). King set out to determine the expected savings in healthcare costs if 25 to 40-year-olds could be "converted" to healthy sleeping habits in a world that expects employees to be "always on", he said. "Lack of sleep is not only related to workplace issues such as absenteeism, lack of productivity, poor work performance, and accidents – which have a direct cost impact on a business – but insufficient sleep has been directly linked with seven of the 15 leading causes of death.” (Fin24)

 
 

BRINGING SPONSORSHIP INTO THE REALM OF REGULATION

The South African Sponsorship Association (Sasa) has been created to protect sponsors against unregulated sponsorship agencies and other non-sponsorship agencies doing “sponsorship work” who may bring the industry into disrepute. It is understood that membership contains a number of benefits with the aim “to raise the standard and build professionalism within the sponsorship industry”. Membership will be limited to sponsors, agencies and their members. Agencies will need to derive 51% of their income from sponsorship work to qualify as members. (IOL)

 
 

5G POTENTIAL SPURS HELIOS TO NEW HEIGHTS

Helios Towers wants to build 1 000 telecommunication towers in South Africa in the next three years as it tries to capitalise on rapid growth in mobile services and shape up for an initial public offering. The company operates cellphone towers in countries including Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It entered South Africa last month by striking a local partnership and buying an independent tower operator, giving it a foothold in a country expected to lead sub-Saharan Africa in rolling out faster, fifth-generation networks. CEO Kash Pandya said Helios will look to acquire more towers from carriers such as MTN and Vodacom. The country has around 30 000 towers in all, with only about 10% of those run by independent companies. (Bloomberg)

 
 

ZINC MINE FOR NORTHERN CAPE

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday officially open the R5.5 billion investment zinc mine in the Northern Cape, the presidency said. The Gamsberg Mine near Aggeneys is located in the mining centre between Springbok and Pofadder and will contribute to job creation and skills development. The new mine is owned by India’s globally diversified natural resources company Vedanta Resources Limited as part of their Black Mountain Mining operations. The mine has an estimated lifespan of over 30 years. (IOL)

 
 

SASOL INVESTORS BRUSH OFF LAKE CHARLES CONCERNS

Sasol reported a jump in first-half profit as the South African fuels and chemicals company enters a crucial year for its massive Lake Charles chemicals project in Louisiana. Headline earnings per share increased by 32% to R23.25. Sasol benefited from a rebound in oil prices for most of 2018, as well as a weaker Rand relative to the US Dollar. The company has also been helped by cost-cutting measures and efforts to save cash during the earlier three-year crude slump. The start up of Lake Charles marks a key shift in Sasol’s history, transforming the synthetic-fuels maker into a global chemicals player. Earlier this month, the company announced a key milestone at the project, but also revealed that capital costs increased once again and startup will be delayed. By the end of December, the project was 94% complete and capital expenditure had reached $10.9 billion (about R151 billion). (Bloomberg)

 
 

VIETNAM DOMINATES CEMENT IMPORTS

Vietnam was the major driver of an 85% year-on-year increase in cement imports into South Africa last year, according to construction market intelligence firm Industry Insight. It said a total of 927809 tons of cement was imported into South Africa last year, which was an increase of 425 144 tons compared to 2017. South African cement exports declined by 3% year-on-year last year, with a total of 747120 tons exported largely to Botswana, Swaziland, now called Eswatini, and Lesotho. Imports exceeded exports by about 180 689 tons last year, which meant South Africa had become a net importer of cement. (IOL)

 
 

DOUBTS OVER REJIGGED CURRENCY DOGS ZIM GOVERNMENT

Zimbabwe’s government has a trust problem as it introduces a discounted currency in a bid to reverse chronic cash shortages that left people struggling to access basic goods. Business people and economists welcomed last week’s decision to abandon an unrealistic dollar peg for the country’s surrogate bond notes and electronic dollars, which were merged into a new currency called the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar. But they expressed doubts about whether the government has the fiscal and monetary discipline to stick to its commitment to lower the budget deficit and keep inflation in check. (Reuters)

 
 

LABOUR BACKS CALL FOR NEW BREXIT REFERENDUM

Britain's opposition Labour Party said yesterday it would back calls for a second referendum on Brexit if parliament rejects its alternative plan for leaving the European Union. With just over a month until Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking changes to her exit deal in order to break an impasse in parliament. Labour's decision could damage her hopes of winning support for a revised deal in a vote she has promised by March 12, by attracting those who would have backed her agreement to avoid a no-deal exit but who prefer a second referendum. Parliament is due to debate and vote tomorrow on the next steps in Britain's tortuous departure from the EU, and lawmakers are set to put down proposals, or amendments, which could include demanding the exit deal is put to a public vote. (Reuters)

 
 

MORE News, NOTICES AND APPEALS
 

NAACAM SHOW TO PROMOTE AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENT INITIATIVE
The NAACAM Show 2019 is the premier automotive manufacturing growth, technology, transformation and stakeholder engagement forum on the African continent. Leaders of the automotive and component manufacturing sector, the largest manufacturing sector in South Africa and Africa, gather biennially to discuss, showcase, engage and network around the big issues and opportunities in the sector. The event takes place at the Durban ICC from March 12-14. To participate, email info@naacamshow.co.za or see https://naacamshow.co.za

 
     
  Advertorial  
     
   
 

COMPETENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT


Starts: 27th March 2019

This programme provides an objective overview of Project Management from a practical business perspective: from initial conceptualisation, to planning, to implementation and subsequent evaluation. Increasingly, projects are seen as a vehicle for accomplishing tasks and meeting objectives in competitive markets, to address customer and organisational needs.

The role of the project manager is being re-defined to ensure the successful completion of corporate and major capital projects. Delegates attending the programme will have the opportunity to develop practical skills for use directly on their return to the organisation. 
Anyone involved in or associated with projects, either as a project manager, planner, accountant, influencer, sponsor or part of a project team can attend this programme.
This programme is suitable for candidates in the business and government sectors.

Duration:

3 Days

Contact:

For more information please contact Adiela Raiman 
T: +27 31 260 4665 
E: raiman@ukzn.ac.za 

 
     
  events  
     
 
5 MARCH 2019
 
 

SALES AND MARKETING MASTERCLASS

Are you battling in this tough sales environment?
Do you want to get an edge on your competitors?
Then don’t miss the exceptional Sales and Marketing Masterclass

To be held at the Chamber on the 5th March

UK-Based Global Sales Expert Andy Preston will teach you how to:
•    Get prospects to come to you as the “provider of choice”;
•    Sell at and maintain higher margins;
•    Close deals faster;
•    Utilize digital selling;
•    Blend digital sales with traditional sales techniques;
•    Understand sales positioning and buyer perceptions;
•    Gain buyer respect and build desire to work with you; and
•    How to get treated like a partner and not beaten up like a supplier.

Australia-Based Marketing Professional Trevor Taylor will present on the new Marketing Mix Strategy: 
•    The 3Cs (Customer, Corporation, Competition) , 
•    The 4As ( Awareness, Affordability, Acceptability and Accessibility); and 
•    The way we use communication strategies today in the social and digital world. 
He’ll also include a section on customer retention, to retain our customers share of wallet and stay sustainable and profitable. 

And local Marketing Strategist & Researcher, James Seymour will present “marketing lessons from business events and leisure tourism marketing”.
 
Time: 8h30 - 15h00
Venue: Chamber House, Royal Showgrounds
Cost: Incl. Lunch, R1500 + VAT pp (members).  R1950 + VAT pp (Non-Members)

 
   
     
  QUOTE  
     
 
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Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. 

Charlie Caplin

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  financial indicators  
     
 
Dollar R13.86 - 0.32%
Pound R18.19 - 0.34%
Euro R15.74 - 0.20%
Yen 0.125105  
Repo 6.75  
Platinum $ 857.00 + 1.12%
Gold $ 1328.20 + 0.10%
Oil $ 64.91 - 3.48%
All Share 55878.20 - 0.21%
Prime 10.25  
 
 

These rates are correct at time of going to press.