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‘INJURED’ ON DUTY’ CENTRE AT MMC
(ltr) Midlands IOD Centre manager Tony Haripersad, Prabashnee Govender (office administrator), director Cassandra Haripersad and Midlands Medical Centre hospital manager Dr Douglas Ross.

Midlands Medical Centre (MMC) private hospital unveiled its new IOD (Injured on Duty) centre at a breakfast function to doctors’ practices at the hospital. Based at the hospital’s premises in Pietermaritzburg, the facility manages IOD claims on behalf of employers, business owners, hospitals and other medical service providers.

   
   
MIXING UP THE MARKETING MESSAGE
Attendees at the marketing mix forum with presenter Clyde Langley (centre, back).

The first Marketing Mix Forum of the year, one of the most popular entities hosted by the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, was addressed by Clyde Langley of ActionCoach Summit recently.

   
   
 
     
  Today in History  
     
 

1985: The world's first internet domain name, symbolics.com, was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corporation of Massachusetts. There are over one billion domains today.

Much as we may disagree, we are not perfect, and to remind us of the truism, today is marked as Everything You Think is Wrong Day.

 
     
  News worth knowing  
     
 

KEEP AN EYE ON STAGE 2 LOAD SHEDDING SCHEDULE

Eskom says it will implement stage 2 load shedding from 8am today.The rotational power cuts are expected to last until 11pm. The power utility instituted stage 1 load shedding yesterday morning, and upgraded this to stage 2 power cuts in the afternoon. Thursday's power cuts were caused by plant breakdowns, which resulted in an imbalance between electricity supply and demand. Stage 1 load shedding allows for 1000 MW to be cut from the national grid to protect the country's power system from total collapse. (Fin24)

 
 

GORDHAN MANDATED TO RESUSCITATE KUSILE, MEDUPI

Cabinet has mandated public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan to produce a comprehensive recovery plan for Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations. The plan will include a re-assessment of the key cost drivers and time over-runs for the new-build project, which has been plagued by design faults and underperformance, ultimately contributing to the country’s electricity shortage and load-shedding. Each power station projected to generate 4 800MW, Medupi has been plagued by cost and time over-runs as well as design and technical problems and is way behind in its construction schedule and way in excess of its budget. Eskom previously said the main problems at Medupi and Kusile lay at the door of the main contractor for the boilers, Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa. In 2013, 10 000 welding faults were discovered when Hitachi failed to heat-treat the welds. In 2015, it failed the crucial steam test, which is a necessary step before commissioning. In 2015, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries merged their power activities to form Hitachi Power Systems Africa. Hitachi being awarded to build the boilers was controversial due to its partnership with the ANC’s investment company, Chancellor House. (BDLive)

 
 

KINGON TERM AT HEAD OF SARS EXTENDED

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has re-appointed Mark Kingon as acting commissioner of Sars for a further period of 90 days. This is the fourth time Kingon’s term has been extended. He took over in March last year when Tom Moyane was suspended after a string of controversies around his running of the tax agency. Moyane was eventually fired by president Cyril Ramaphosa in November following the recommendation of Sars commission of inquiry chair, retired judge Robert Nugent. The National Treasury said yesterday that Kingon’s extension would be from March 14 to June 11 or “until such date as the president appoints a new commissioner for Sars” — whichever occurs earlier. (BDLive)

 
 

MINING SECTOR MIRED IN A HOLE

The mining sector, which has come under increased pressure in recent months, took another dive at the start of 2019. Production has been hard hit by continuous strikes in the gold mines led by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), as well as slowing global growth. Load-shedding has also threatened to further dent the sector. Mining production decreased slightly less than expected, by 3.3% year-on-year in January, after a 4.1% contraction in December, revised from 4.8%, data from Statistics SA showed yesterday.Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a contraction of 3.8%. Most sub-sectors reported lower production in January compared to a year earlier. The largest negative contributors were iron ore, down 27.7%; gold, down 22.5%; diamonds down 37%; coal down 6.4%; and chromium ore down 7.3%. Compared to December 2018, mining increased by 0.2% in January. (BDLive)

 
 

MANUFACTURING OUTPUT DISAPPOINTS

The Rand was mixed against major global currencies on Thursday afternoon, extending losses against the US Dollar after downbeat local data. SA’s manufacturing production grew 0.3% on an annualised basis in January, well below the Bloomberg forecast of growth of 1.2%. SA’s economy has clearly faltered at the start of 2019, but activity should pick up during the course of the year, said Capital Economics senior emerging-markets economist John Ashbourne. (BDLive)

 
 

LIQUIDATOR IN THE DARK OVER AFRICAN GLOBAL OPERATIONS MOVE

The high court in Johannesburg yesterday reversed the liquidation of the African Global Operations group of companies. The court set aside the decision taken by six directors of African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, on February 12 to place the group of companies into voluntary liquidation. In its urgent application, African Global Holdings sought a court order declaring that the special resolution taken by the directors was void from the beginning and of no force or effect. African Global Holdings advocate Mike Hellens SC argued that the special resolution was not properly passed. Cloete Murray, one of the liquidators, said he did not understand why African Global Operations sought the court order. “That is strange. They resolved to take the companies into liquidation. They then applied, on an urgent basis, to have the very same resolutions set aside. I have no idea why,” Murray said. (BDLive)

 
 

STANDARD BANK TO SHUTTER 91 BRANCHES

Standard Bank will cut around 1 200 jobs and close 91 branches as part of efforts to digitise its retail and business bank, it said yesterday. As well as sprawling branch and IT networks and large workforces - exceeding 50 000 at Standard Bank - South African lenders are grappling with a stagnant economy, where consumers have reined in borrowing amid high debt levels and other strains on their income. Last week, Standard Bank said it grew its full-year earnings at less than half the pace it saw in 2017. The majority of the branches due to close will shut by June, Standard Bank said, adding new job opportunities would become available in the bank, meaning the total number of employees that lose their jobs could be lower. (Reuters)

 
 

COAL PERFORMANCE PAVES WAY FOR EXXARO DIVIDEND

Exxaro Resources, a large coal miner, has rewarded its shareholders handsomely after a year of record operational and sales performances and an inflow of cash from the sale of an investment. Exxaro, an empowered mining company, reported a post-tax profit of R7.1 billion for the year to end-December 2018, compared with a profit of R6 billion the year before. With the declaration of a final dividend of R5.55 per share, Exxaro raised its total returns to shareholders for the year by 55% to R10.85 a share. Exxaro noted it had record performances in coal production, sales and export volumes of 47.8 million tonnes, 45.2 million tonnes and eight million tonnes respectively for the year. (BDLive)

 
 

ARC FEELS THE PAIN OF SLUGGISH ECONOMY

Empowerment investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) released interim results for the six months ended December 31, 2018 yesterday as a slew of companies release results reports that are reflecting a challenging operating environment in South Africa. The country’s pedestrian growth and poor performance of listed entities took a toll on ARC, who only managed to grow its intrinsic net asset value (NAV) by 1% to R9.6 billion. “Our target is to grow intrinsic NAV of the investments in our portfolio by at least 16% per annum through the cycles,” says ARC’s co-CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. He adds that the group is not satisfied with the performance under review. (Moneyweb)

 
 

METAIR DEFIES THE ODDS

Metair, the manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, has produced record full-year results, despite currency volatility in SA and Turkey. The company’s strong performance in the year to end-December 2018, in which revenue increased by 8% to R10.3 billion, bolsters its strategy to seek growth outside SA. Metair CEO Theo Loock said the company is pleased with its performance, given the history of its struggles in overseas markets. He said that during the year the company saw strong contribution from its overseas units. (BDLive)

 
 

CLARION CALL TO UP FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Governments and business must help countries in Africa deal with the fallout of climate change, the head of the World Bank said as  the organisation pledged billions for green investment in the continent.Kristalina Georgieva said it was vital that nations least responsible for global warming are assisted in adapting to the extreme weather and food insecurity their citizens face. “Africa contributes 4% of CO² emissions globally but already more than 65% of the population there is impacted by climate change, by drought, by flooding, by storms,” she said. Speaking on the eve of the One Planet Summit in Nairobi, Georgieva said green development in Africa was an economic open goal for companies willing to invest in renewable energy, farming technology, and conservation. The World Bank announced it was providing $22.5 billion (about R330 billion) for sustainable development programmes in Africa between 2021-2025. (AFP)

 
 

MPS BACK BID TO DELAY BREXIT

British MPs voted overwhelmingly yesterday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for prime minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. MPs approved by 412 votes to 202 a statement setting out the option to request a short delay if a Brexit deal can be agreed by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time. Just 15 days before Britain is due to leave the European Union, May is using the threat of a long delay to push Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party finally to back her deal. A new vote on her deal is likely next week, when those MPs will have to decide whether to back a deal they feel does not offer a clean break from the EU, or accept that Brexit could be watered down or even thwarted by a lengthy delay. (Reuters)

 
 

MORE NEWS, NOTICES AND APPEALS

 

CALLING BUSINESS TO SUPPORT CHILD WELFARE GOLF DAY

The business community is called on to support the PMB Child Welfare Society in its fund-raising endeavours to nurture the children and families under its care. To this end, it is hosting a golf day at the Victoria Golf Club on April 12 and is appealing to local businesses and community members to sponsor a hole to the value of R1 000, donate gifts or prizes, and enter a four-ball team at R2 000. All donations qualify for a Section 18 tax receipt. For more information, contact Varsha Haridass on (033) 342 8971 or 073 843 2196 or email Anil at finance@pmbchildwelfare.co.za or Chloe on admindata@pmbchildwelfare.co.za.

 
     
  Advertorial  
     
   
 

UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES REFERRED BY EX-EMPLOYEES

 

There are two recent cases which shed some light on how to approach unfair labour practices referred by ex-employees. The principle is confirmed that an ex-employee may only refer an unfair labour practice case against a former employee is the unfairness arose during the course of the employment relationship. 

To read more click here

 

Contact: Nicci Whitear – Labour Law Specialist - nicci@austensmith.co.za - 033 392 0500
191 Pietermaritz Street, Pietermaritzburg, www.austensmith.co.za

 
     
  QUOTE  
     
 
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If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles.

Wayne Dyer

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  financial indicators  
     
 
Dollar R14.48 + 0.14%
Pound R19.18 + 0.34%
Euro R16.40 + 0.11%
Yen 0.129795  
Repo 6.75  
Platinum $ 826.00 + 0.85%
Gold $ 1298.70 + 0.24%
Oil $ 67.07 - 0.49%
All Share 55789.45 - 0.07%
Prime 10.25  
 
 

These rates are correct at time of going to press.