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ADDING VALUE TO THE BANKING EXPERIENCE
Lancelot Mhlongo, Nedbank’s regional manager for retail, relationship banking and business banking.

Meet Lancelot Mhlongo, Nedbank’s regional manager for retail, relationship banking and business banking. Based at Nedbank’s regional office in Townbush Road, Mhlongo is looking forward to adding value to the business community in Pietermaritzburg and the KZN interior. Born and bred in KZN, Mhlongo is passionate about the people that he leads and the clients the bank serves. He is under no illusion about the challenges presented by the tough economic times and is keen to help consumers manage their affairs cost-effectively and see money differently.

   
   
 
     
  Today in History  
     
 

1978: Hawaii hosts the first Ironman Triathlon: 3.86 km swim, 180 km bike ride, and a full marathon.

We don’t know why, but today is Thumb Appreciation Day.

 
     
  News worth knowing  
     
 

WE OWE SA AN EXPLANATION ON ESKOM, SAYS GORDHAN

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says government owes South Africans an explanation on how multi-billion projects such as the Medupi and Kusile coal plants failed, said yesterday in an interview. Gordhan spoke about the current status of Eskom in terms of its financial, operational and technical woes as well as the various problems that government had since discovered in terms of the coal plants that were meant to service SA with enough electricity. “Medupi and Kusile have a long history,” Gordhan said during the interview. “Choices were made at the time when we thought the private sector will come in. We hear that Eskom in fact had the skills at the time, then lost those skills and then took on these projects – we would need to verify this but that’s the view,” he said, adding that they were still looking into what exactly went wrong with the construction of the coal plants. “We owe the public an explanation for what went wrong – with a view to fixing it as we go forward,” he said. (Fin24)

 
 

COMAIR SOARS ON SAA FINE

Shares in Comair, the only JSE-listed aviation company, rocketed as much as 37% to R6.25 on Friday after it said it would receive a settlement from SAA worth a little less than half of its market capitalisation. Years of legal battles have now ended, and the parties  have entered into a full and final agreement over SAA's anti-competitive conduct between 1999 and 2005, Comair said. SAA has agreed to pay the British Airways franchisee R1.1 billion, plus interest, along with legal costs. Comair's share price had pared gains to 19.34% at R5.43, giving the airline a market capitalisation of R2.548 billion. (BDLive)

 
 

DELINQUENT DEPARTMENT SLAMMED OVER MANGANESE DISPUTE

The Constitutional Court gave the department of mineral resources a stinging rebuke for its flawed handling of a disputed right claimed by Aquila Steel, and ordered that the company be allowed to mine, in a judgment with broad consequences. The court found on Friday in Aquila’s favour in a matter that pitted the Australian company against the department and the interests of the governments of SA, Zimbabwe and Zambia in a fight for a large, valuable manganese deposit in the Northern Cape that started more than a decade. "The department not only botched, but egregiously botched, coincident prospecting and mining rights applications [made by] ZiZa and Aquila to its Northern Cape office between April 2005 and December 2011," Supreme Court of Appeal, justice Edwin Cameron said. (BDLive)

 
 

FAREWELL, FAILED FAST-FOOD FRANCHISES

Grand Parade Investments’ (GPI) announcement that it is exiting Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins could be seen as a victory for activist investors who have long called for the closure of the struggling SA outlets of the US chains. Institutional shareholders Denker Capital, Excelsia Capital, Kagiso Asset Management, Westbrooke Alternative Asset Management and Rozendal Partners, which collectively hold 12.5% in GPI, banded together in 2018 and called for the gaming and fast-food empowerment group to let go of the brands. Since launching the popular US doughnut and ice cream brands in SA three years ago, GPI, which also runs Burger King in SA, has been struggling to get its fast-food operations to perform. Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, with collectively 16 outlets in the Western Cape, have incurred cumulative losses of R96 millon since 2016. GPI’s food division incurred a R107.7m loss for the year to end-June 2018. The only positive contribution to this division was the R608 000 it received in earnings from its 17.48% holding in Spur. (BDLive)

 
 

INVESTEC PUTS ITS MONEY WHERE THE (GREEN) ENERGY IS

Investec Bank and UK Climate Investments have set up a R1 billion investment vehicle to buy assets under SA’s green power programme. The vehicle, Revego Africa Energy Limited, is expected to list on the JSE by June 2019 where it hopes to raise another R1 billion to invest in operating renewable energy projects. Also newly incorporated is the majority black-owned Revego Fund Managers, which will manage Revego’s investments. According to Mike Meeser, chief investment officer for the fund, Revego will seek out opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa, but will be particularly focused on SA where more than 100 green power projects have been procured under the government’s lauded Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement programme. (BDLive)

 
 

BRULPADDA OIL FIND ROARS WITH POTENTIAL, SAYS CABINET

South Africa, where oil major Total recently made a big offshore discovery, said it had potential gas resources of up to 60 trillion cubic feet in waters off its coast. Last week Total's chief executive said its offshore discovery probably contained 1 billion barrels of total resources, after successfully drilling its Brulpadda prospects in the Outeniqua Basin off South Africa's southern coast."South Africa has potential resources of nine billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet or 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas offshore," a cabinet statement said. The government is hopeful Total's find will spur an exploration boon, with Sasol, Eni and Exxon Mobil Corp among those with offshore exploration acreage. (Reuters)

 
 

BAN GUPTA AUDITOR, URGES IRBA

The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) wants nothing less than to see former KPMG auditor Jacques Wessels permanently barred from doing any audit work. “His conduct as an auditor ordinarily is not to be sceptical, it’s not to show independence,” said senior counsel Tim Breinders, for Irba, on Friday. Wessels was responsible for the audits of Gupta family-owned Linkway Trading. The committee found him guilty in 2018 of all six charges Irba had levelled against him. Two of these were for dishonesty, while the other four related to negligence. On the negligence counts Wessels was found guilty of contravening four fundamental auditing principles and 31 auditing standards. Wessels’ impending sanction is considered one of the most important yet a disciplinary committee has given to an auditor charged by Irba. It will either entrench the public perception that auditors are not being held to account in SA or dispel the notion that the regulator is toothless about punishment.(BDLive)

 
 

CHINESE PRESIDENT HOPEFUL ON TARIFF DEAL

President Xi Jinping said US-China trade talks would continue next week in Washington, as the two sides race to reach a deal that would avert a tariff increase on Chinese goods after March 1. “Negotiations between both sides have achieved important progress in another step,” Xi said after a round of trade talks wrapped up in Beijing, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. “Next week, both sides are going to meet in Washington. I hope you keep up the good work, and push for a mutually-benefiting and win-win agreement.” The US echoed the sentiment, saying there had been progress, but that work remained, according to an emailed statement from the White House. The two sides agreed that commitments reached would be stated in a memorandum of understanding, according to the statement. (Bloomberg)

 
 

MAY IN LAST-DITCH BID TO SAVE BREXIT

Theresa May will lead a major diplomatic drive to persuade European Union leaders to save her Brexit agreement, as she faces a rebellion from cabinet ministers who want to stop the UK leaving without a deal. May’s allies believe she has just nine days left to save her strategy before members of Parliament run out of patience and step in to take over the process in a vote scheduled for February 27. As the clock runs down, May’s dispatching her ministers across Europe in an attempt to persuade the EU to make concessions so that skeptical colleagues in her Conservative Party can vote for a re-written deal. (Reuters)

 
 

AMAZON DEAL TO REV UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE SPACE

Amazon.com Inc said on Friday it would lead a $700 million (about R9 billion)  investment in US electric pick-up truck startup Rivian Automotive LLC, in the e-commerce giant's biggest bet on technologies with potential to reshape the automotive sector. The deal represents a major endorsement of Rivian's electric vehicle technology by the world's largest online retailer. Amazon is hoping Rivian will assist it in its development of delivery vehicles that will bolster its logistics network, it is reported. (Bloomberg)

 
 

MORE NEWS, NOTICES AND APPEALS

 

OPEN DAY TO SHOWCASE HOSPICE AND ITS SERVICES

Ever wondered what Hospice is about? Then Friday morning, March 8, over tea, is a good time to find out more about the organisation. Among the questions addressed will be: What does Hospice do? How do we help you? How can you help us? Volunteer Opportunities.
Proceedings from 9 am to 11 am will take place at the Hospice Conference Centre, 200 Zwartkop Road, Prestbury. For catering purposes, confirm attendance with Tanya on (033) 344 1560 or at fundraiser@hospicekzn.co.za.

 
   
 

NEED A VENUE WITH A DIFFERENCE,
THEN VICTORIA COUNTRY CLUB IS IDEAL FOR YOU.


 

The club has a 100% backup generator to ensure your event is not interrupted.

•    Corporate Golf Days 
•    Corporate Breakfasts 
•    Lunches and Dinners 
•    Cocktail Parties 
•    Weddings 
•    Braais 
•    Birthday Parties 
•    Engagement Parties 
•    Year End Functions 
•    Private Dinners

Our friendly professional staff will put you at ease and tailor your event to ensure it is truly unforgettable. 

 

Contact our Events Manager for further information - Tel: 033 347 1942 OR email: pro@victoria.co.za

 
     
  QUOTE  
     
 
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Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Gustav Flaubert

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  financial indicators  
     
 
Dollar R14.04 + 0.19%
Pound R18.14 + 0.11%
Euro R15.89 + 0.05%
Yen 0.127132  
Repo 6.75  
Platinum $ 803.50 + 0.37%
Gold $ 1322.99 + 0.17%
Oil $ 66.35 + 0.16%
All Share 54628.41 + 0.19%
Prime 10.25  
 
 

These rates are correct at time of going to press.