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KZN BLOOD SERVICE TO PILOT IRON DRIVE

Third year BCom student Trivikrama Maistry (left) with an unnamed SA Blood Service team member, was one 70 students and staff who donated blood during a Blood Bank at the Varsity College Pietermaritzburg campus recently in response to a dire shortage.

The South African National Blood Services (SANBS) has launched a pilot programme to boost iron intake among female donors. The campaign #Iʳonstrong from February 18 to May 1, will see SANBS offering blood donors in KZN a one-month free supply of ferrous sulphate tablets -each 200mg containing 65 mg elemental iron -  following a whole blood donation. Women from KZN evidently have noticably low iron levels in their blood. “While it has not yet been established why donors in KZN have lower haemoglobin levels, what we do know is that the oral administration of ferrous sulphate tablets can very quickly restore the body's iron stores,” says Dr. Jackie Thomson, medical director at the SANBS. The #Iʳonstrong campaign hopefully will create awareness and advocate the use of iron supplements, but also help to increase the size of the donor pool. For more information, call 0800 119 031 or see www.sanbs.org.za.

   
   
 
     
  Today in History  
     
 

1964:  Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest heavyweight boxer in history, becomes world champion.

On a day when even a whisper is too loud, it must be Quiet Day, today.

 
     
  News worth knowing  
     
 

SA AT ITS TAX CEILING

Compared to significant tax increases in the last four years' Budgets, the latest delivered by finance minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday appears to show an acceptance that taxation levels in SA have reached a ceiling, says Melanie Milleskie, tax expert at Deloitte Africa. Milleskie believes Budget 2019 was about hard facts and figures, sending a clear message that the economic backdrop should be acknowledged – and with growth stimulus and addressing government debt in the foreground. "It is clear that individuals are significantly taxed in South Africa, and it is very important for taxpayers to feel they are taxed fairly. "This must have weighed heavily in the decision not to raise personal taxes this year," she said at a post-Budget event hosted by Deloitte Africa in Cape Town on Friday. Instead, Mboweni is rather focusing on what Milleskie calls "streamlining" processes at the SA Revenue Service. (Fin24)

 
 

PRESSURE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO BOOST REVENUE COLLECTION

Local government gets the smallest share of the division of nationally raised revenue because it has significant own revenue-raising powers, according to the 2019 Budget Review. While local government raises about 70% of its own revenue, it would be able to raise more if municipalities improved revenue collection. In 2017/2018, almost half of all municipalities collected less than 80% of their billed revenue, according to the review. The National Treasury’s state of local government finances report also found that 128 municipalities were in financial distress at the end of 2016/2017. The problems in revenue management are the largest contributor to financial distress in local government. Households, followed by commercial customers and government, owe the largest share of outstanding municipal revenues. (BDLive)

 
 

MINING COMPANIES IN URGENT BID TO STAVE OF STRIKE

Urgent applications lodged in court by 15 mining companies to prevent Thursday’s seven-day secondary strike called by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) may stop the action before it starts. The secondary strike is an attempt by Amcu to force the end of a protracted strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mines and is seen by industry players as a high-stake effort by the union’s president Joseph Mathunjwa to show his power. Amcu has issued notices at 15 gold and platinum mines, including AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and platinum companies Impala Platinum and Northam, as well as at Glencore, warning of a secondary strike from 28 February and ending on March 7. Mining companies will argue in the labour court that a secondary strike can only be called if there is a direct link between the primary employer or company and those at which the secondary strike will be called, and which in this case does not exist. Applications for an urgent decision were lodged on Friday with more expected on Monday and Tuesday. (BDLive)

 
 

PIC COMMISSION TO RESUME TODAY

Key witnesses are expected to testify before the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) when it resumes today. The new round of public hearings take place amid death threats against witnesses who have testified before the inquiry and a walk-out by the corporation's board which quit early this month. "Evidence will be presented by key witnesses. However, the names of the witnesses will be made public when they appear before the Commission to give their evidence," the commission said. The commission revealed that witnesses who have testified before the commission have received anonymous death threats. The inquiry, headed by former president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Justice Lex Mpati, submitted its interim report to president Cyril Ramaphosa on February 15, but the report has not been made public. (Fin24)

 
 

STATE CAPTURE COMMISSION CANS BOSASA CONTRACT

A company falling under the umbrella of controversial state contractor Bosasa has had its contract with the state capture commission terminated and been ordered to remove its equipment from the commission’s premises. In a statement on Friday evening — which was released “at the instance” of the commission’s chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo – it was confirmed that GTS, a Bosasa subsidiary that had been contracted by the justice and constitutional development department to provide security services to the commission, was asked to remove its equipment. (BDLive)

 
 

CRIMINAL CHARGES LAID OVER ESKOM’S TEGETA COAL CONTRACT

Eskom has laid criminal charges with the Hawks in relation to the power utility's coal supply agreement (CSA) with Gupta-owned Tegeta and will start pursuing civil claims, board chair Jabu Mabuza said on Friday. Mabuza was the first witness to testify at the state capture commission of inquiry about the financially distressed parastatal. He was asked on Friday about action the new board had taken following the release of a Treasury-commissioned forensic report into a coal supply agreement between Eskom and Tegeta, in which glaring irregularities and illegalities were found. The report found that senior Eskom executives and officials also violated anti-corruption laws for a R659 million “prepayment” to Tegeta. The report recommended criminal investigations into former officials Matshela Koko, Anoj Singh and Suzanne Daniels, as well as board members over the prepayment. It also recommended that Singh and Koko be investigated for misrepresenting facts on the matter before parliament.  (BDLive)

 
 

DON’T BLAME IPPS FOR ESKOM WOES, SAYS RADEBE

The assertion that Eskom incurs losses as a result of its Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme is misleading and false, energy minister Jeff Radebe said yesterday. The IPP programme has been criticised by trade unions, the EFF and former Eskom officials who claim that the costs are responsible for the financial crisis at Eskom, which is unable to service its debt of more than R419 billion. Radebe told reporters on Sunday that the renewable energy IPPs were cost neutral to Eskom as the cost was  passed on to the consumer. (BDLive)

 
 

EARNINGS WARNING HITS TONGAAT HULETT

Tongaat Hulett’s market value plunged by nearly a fifth on Friday after the sugar producer said headline earnings in the year to end-March will probably fall by at least 250%. In June last year, an Investec analyst called for then-CEO Peter Staude to step down after the company’s “appalling” results. That time around, headline earnings for the year to March 2018 had fallen 37.2% to R617 million. Tongaat said on Friday that with its high debt levels and interest costs, “any reduction in operating profit has a larger impact on earnings”. The company, now headed by Gavin Hudson, has appointed advisors and will enter into discussions with lenders next week, it said. Furthermore, management is assessing various assets, including cane assets and project costs, for impairment risk. Shares in the group closed 20.41% lower at R37.01 on Friday afternoon. In September 2014, it rose above the R170 mark (BDLive)

 
 

IS THIS MAY’S LAST ROLL OF THE BREXIT DICE?

Theresa May launched a last-ditch bid to stop Parliament taking Brexit policy out of her hands by promising politicians a binding vote on her divorce deal by March 12. The British prime minister confirmed there will not be a so-called "meaningful vote" on the negotiated terms of the UK’s split from the European Union (EU) in the House of Commons this week. But she has promised to give parliament a general vote on Brexit on Wednesday, and lawmakers are threatening to use that opportunity to force her to delay the divorce. May is battling an open revolt from within her own Cabinet as ministers are set to join forces with opposition members to try to prevent the UK falling out of the EU on March 29 without a deal. In an attempt to buy herself an extra two weeks to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement in Brussels, she promised that members of Parliament will have a decisive vote by March 12. Ministers said privately last week they weren’t minded to give her more time – they’ve already given her the benefit of the doubt twice. (Bloomberg)

 
 

MONSTER MORTGAGES FOR THE SUPER WEALTHY

When it comes to cars, tunnels and rockets, Elon Musk thinks big. The same is true for his household finances. The billionaire recently took out US$61 million (about R851 million) in mortgages on five properties in California, four in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles and one in Hillsborough, near the Bay Area. The Morgan Stanley loans, signed in the final days of 2018, represent about $50 million in new borrowing. One refinancing on a more than 18 500 sq/m property he bought in 2012 for $17 million turned a $10 million loan into a $19.5 million debt. His monthly payment? About $180 000.The loans show how even the wealthiest people use mortgages to maintain liquidity. Musk, with a $23.4 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is among ultra-wealthy property owners including Mark Zuckerberg, Ken Griffin, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who have taken out monster mortgages. Citadel founder Griffin stands out, with two secured in 2016 for a total of about $114 million. (Bloomberg)

 
 

MORE NEWS, NOTICES AND APPEALS

 

GOLF DAY TO BENEFIT HOME FOR BABIES

ProSysCom is hosting a charity golf day on Friday, March 15 at the Victoria Country Club in aid of Thandi House, an organisation that cares for abandoned babies. At total of R35 495.50 was raised last year, and this year, the target is R50 000, according to organiser Jenna Hunt. ProSysCom is calling for sponsors to assist with the event and with 80 players expected, the day promises to be a great promotional opportunity. Tee off will be at 10 am and the prize giving and dinner at around 5 pm. Interested parties wishing to donate cash or prizes, please contact Jannetta Hunt at jannetta@prosyscom.co.za or on 072 822 6950.

 
     
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  events  
     
 
26 FEBRUARY 2019
 
 

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT FORUM

THE FORUM FOR HR PROFESSIONALS TO DISCUSS AND ADDRESS CURRENT AND DIFFICULT HR MATTERS 
1.    Constitutional Court ruling on Dagga/Marijuana
2.    Constitutional Court ruling on Temporary Employment Services (TES)
Chaired by Raj Seeparsad - G.U.D. Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

TIME: 16:00
VENUE: Chamber House, Royal Showgrounds
COSTS: R50 non members

 
   
     
  QUOTE  
     
 
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The goal of satire is reform; the goal of comedy, acceptance. 

W.H. Auden

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  financial indicators  
     
 
Dollar R13.95 - 0.04%
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Yen 0.125981  
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These rates are correct at time of going to press.