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Found 29 results

  1. In February the Wall Street Journal reported that eBay was taking steps to sell off its classifieds business which could be worth roughly $10 billion. A few names that were thrown around as interested parties were private equity groups (TPG, Blackstone), South Africa's Naspers and German publisher Axel Springer. Recent reports state that both Naspers (via Prosus), Axel Springer (who is teaming up with KKR), Norwegian marketing group Adevinta and a consortium of private equity companies consisting of Blackstone, Permira and Hellman & Friedman have made bids. Followers of the local internet landscape will remember that Naspers spent a considerable amount of money marketing OLX in South Africa only to see eBay owned Gumtree retain pole position. Now Naspers will be looking to buy their way to the top. Or will they? Facebook Marketplace is already widely used in South Africa and many use it similar to Gumtree to run a buying and selling business, it also has a far better trust factor built-in (friends, friends of friends). It is also launching a e-commerce function called Shops. It remains to be seen, should Naspers prevail how Gumtree will change in South Africa considering its influential position, it is the market leader used by many entrepreneurs. Will it retain its static ad-supported model or will it branch (excuse the pun) into e-commerce as well.
  2. The National Coronavirus Command Council has lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarette, said President Cyril Ramaphosa. Source: EWN
  3. A year ago DPO Group acquired popular local payment processes PayFast. DPO Group is now itself to be acquired up by Dubai based Network International for a reported $288 million (R4.9 billion).
  4. SA has lost more in tax revenue since the lockdown began than the loans it got from two multilateral development agencies. SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, says there was a need to raise R40 billion more in the February budget but that gap has widened significantly because of Covid-19. Tax Relief measures and the ban of tobacco products and alcohol sales have led to an under-recovery of about R47 billion in tax collections. South Africa lost more in tax revenue in the first three-and-half months of its fiscal year than it borrowed from the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank (AfDB) combined. In the three months through June, there was an under-recovery of about R47 billion, with excise-duty collections including levies on alcohol, tobacco products and fuel contracting 42% from a year earlier. "The reality is that there was a need in February to raise R40 billion more," said Kieswetter. "Right now, that need is significantly bigger than R40 billion because of the coronavirus." While some restrictions have since been eased, many businesses have closed and the 30.1% unemployment rate is set to worsen, further weighing on tax collections. In a supplementary budget in June, the government cut its revenue projection for this fiscal year by more than R300 billion. South Africa’s top income-tax rate is 45%, corporate tax is 28% and VAT is 15%. It has little room to raise levies with the ratio of tax revenue to GDP at 26%, compared with a global average of 15%, according to World Bank data. Read more at News24
  5. Business for South Africa says it expects the national Covid-19 infection rate to peak during August 2020. The business lobby group says South African businesses are likely to face additional job losses of about 1.5 million by the end of the year. The group says it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels. Business lobby group, Business for South Africa, has urged South Africans and businesses to continue with precautions in work and public life as the economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic rages on. In a statement released on Tuesday morning, B4SA said it expected the national Covid-19 infection rate to peak during August 2020, while daily mortalities will peak by late-August or early September. B4SA said South African businesses were already in distress and it now expects about 1.5 million further job losses by the end of the year. "The steep and dramatic surge in new infections indicates that we are now well along the upward trajectory of the infection curve, with South Africa recording the fifth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world," the group said Read more at News24
  6. Companies should take heed of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal that may impact their future positions regarding value-added tax (Vat). The case relates to the proper interpretation of the deeming provisions in the Vat Act, especially Section 8(15) on the single supply of goods and services – which, in certain circumstances, could be deemed to be more than one supply. The result will be a higher tax liability. In the case before the appeal court, a manufacturer and distributor of alcohol in South Africa, Diageo, appealed a tax court decision that it owed the South African Revenue Service (Sars) Vat of around R14 million for the supply of goods and services. Read more at Fanews
  7. For centuries, the Perseverance Tavern has served sailors and Cape Town's colourful entourage of thirsty patrons. In March, the lockdown and national regulations prevented "The Percy" from trading. Now comes the news that the historic watering hole is shutting its old doors for good. Last rounds have been called in South Africa's oldest pub – as the lockdown claims more jobs. The Perseverance Tavern was established in Buitenkant Street by Johannes Blesser in the year 1808, in the heart of "The Tavern of the Seas", as Cape Town was known. But 212 years later, management has now announced its staff will be retrenched, as alcohol sales remain banned – with no end in sight. "It's brutal. With every day that goes by, more and more establishments are shutting up shop," said owner James Charton of the impact of the lockdown. Read more at News24
  8. South Africa’s retail sales plunged by a record 50.4% in April and 12% in May, data showed on Wednesday in the latest evidence of the impact of the early, stricter phase of the country’s coronavirus lockdown. At the end of March, President Cyril Ramaphosa took early action, shutting restaurants, banning alcohol and tobacco sales, while ordering people to stay at home and sending the army on to the streets to enforce it. Statistics South Africa said the April annual figures were the lowest since 2002 when the agency began compiling the data. On a monthly basis sales were up 74.2% after a 50.7% contraction in April. Quarterly sales dropped 19.5%. Retail and trade accounts for around 15% of gross domestic product, the third largest sector, after finance and government services, but increasingly indebted consumers kept indoors by lockdown are unlikely to increase spending soon. Read more at EWN
  9. South Africa's economy decreased by 2.0% in the first quarter of 2020. This extends the technical recession that the country found itself in in the last quarter of 2019. The release of Stats SA's latest quarterly GDP figures comes a week after Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni tabled his supplementary budget in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Treasury now expects SA's GDP to contract by a record 7.2% in this year, while tax revenues are projected to fall R300 billion short of the what was estimated in February budget. Globally, the economic outlook is also looking gloomy, with the United Kingdom reporting a 2.2% contraction between January and March of this year - the largest contraction for that economy in 40 years. Read more at Fin24
  10. Media24 has announced it will start consultations with staff about the possible closure of five magazines and two newspapers as well as outsourcing and reducing the frequency of its remaining monthly magazines, among other interventions, as the Covid-19 pandemic cuts into advertising and circulation. In the magazine portfolio, the interventions include plans to: Close Move! and the Hearst portfolio publications, which include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Bicycling, Runner’s World. Publish DRUM in digital format only. Enter into a licensing agreement with editor Helen Schöer to publish the parenting titles (Baba & Kleuter and Your Pregnancy) independently. Outsource the editorial production of the remaining monthly portfolio of Fairlady, SARIE, SA Hunter/Jagter, True Love, tuis | home, Weg! | go! and Weg! Ry & Sleep | go! Drive & Camp, as well as the fortnightly Kuier. Reduce the frequency of the monthly magazines to six issues per year, and eight issues for tuis | home, SA Hunter/Jagter and Man Magnum. In the group's newspaper portfolio, it intends to Close Son op Sondag and Sunday Sun. Close the Eastern Cape edition of Son. Publish Volksblad and Die Burger Oos-Kaap as weekday digital editions only, available as complete PDFs on Netwerk24. Close four community newspapers in KwaZulu-Natal: Amanzimtoti Fever, East Griqualand Fever, Hillcrest Fever and Maritzburg Fever. Consolidate Noordkaap and Kalahari Bulletin into a single newspaper, Noordkaap Bulletin, and Kroonnuus and Vrystaat Nuus into Vrystaat Kroonnuus. At the same time, incorporating Theewaterskloof Gazette into Hermanus Times. Accelerate the digital transition of The Witness. Read more at fin24
  11. Kudoti, a waste tech startup has won the Aim Virtual Startup Pitch Competition for 2020 and will head to Dubai to compete at Aim Startup National Champions League, later this year. Organised by the Annual Investment Meeting (Aim) Organising Committee and the Startup Mzansi Foundation the Aim Virtual Startup Pitch Competition South Africa forms part of a bigger competition that will have over 80 countries going head to head for the winning title. Co-founded by Gift Lubele, a former research engineer, Kudoti utilises hardware and software technology to enhance recycling rates and increase efficiency in the waste industry. Using IoT sensors, Kudoti collects data which is then combined with their developed software solutions to improve waste logistics and processing. The platform has been enabled to be suitable for recycling SME’s in the informal sector and large waste management companies.
  12. Walmart-owned Massmart plans to invest heavily in its online sales platform, saying that in the months since lockdown started it had experienced a 100% increase in e-commerce sales growth compared to the same period last year. Massmart launched a new ecommerce platform for Makro and Game on 4 February 2019 which is built using SAP’s Hybris solution. Makro admitted that it has experienced challenges with its release as it did not anticipate the sheer scale of complexity and challenges the re-platforming would bring. “These included challenges with the implementation of a new picking and packing solution and obstacles in administering refunds,” it said at the time. Makro explained the website is what customers see and interact with, but many other systems are dependent on the new platform rollout with some of the impacts that customers experienced being caused by peripheral systems. “As an example, we experienced configuration issues on more4less deals, which led to incorrect pricing being displayed for a period of time,” Makro said. Makro said while the move to a new web platform was a necessary part of supporting its growing online business, it has negatively impacted shopping experiences on their site. Read more at MyBroadband
  13. Petra Diamonds has put itself or parts of its business up for sale, the Africa-focussed miner said on Friday, as part of a review the company began in March after being hammered by lacklustre demand and prices for the precious gem. The company has been in talks with its creditors to shore-up finances as the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to scale back operations in a troubled diamond market. London-listed Petra said it is seeking offers, but has received none so far and could cancel its decision at any time. Seeking potential buyers offers is a standard part of restructuring processes where the company weighs all options. Read more at Moneyweb
  14. Diesel theft threatening SA food security, warn farmers Diesel fuel is being stolen from pipelines, causing shortages and price increases that could threaten South Africa’s food security, according to farming lobby Agri SA. Farmers are dependent on diesel for harvesting and to transport produce, the group said in a statement Thursday. The dairy and fresh produce supply chain is particularly vulnerable. The alleged theft and vandalism of diesel supply lines that run from Durban to Johannesburg have resulted in diesel being transported by truck, which increases costs, according to Agri SA. The group called for an investigation of the issue. Read more at fin24.com SA's diesel shortage: Some farmers struggle to find fuel to harvest and deliver their crops South Africa may face a maize meal crunch as diesel shortages start to affect food production. South Africa has been rationing diesel since last month. Local fuel producers said the sharp increase in demand following months of lockdown had caught them by surprise. During lockdown half of the country's six oil refineries were mothballed and some are still busy coming online, while a third ran into technical problems. Read more at Business Insider South Africa
  15. Nespresso has hiked the price of its capsules by R2 each, blaming rand weakness. While the rand has strengthened from recent lows, it is still down almost 20% from the start of the year. An analyst says more price hikes can be expected on imported goods. South African fans of Nespresso have not taken kindly to a large price hike of its capsules during lockdown. Nespresso, which is owned by Swiss-based Nestlé, confirmed the price hike of R2 per capsule, blaming rand weakness. Read more at Business Insider South Africa
  16. Asia’s largest retailer is betting that it has the right product at the right time: a Uniqlo face mask. Read more at the Japan Times
  17. Four months since Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address, and the "new normal" imposed by COVID-19. It remains to be seen how this development will unfold. Read more at EWN
  18. Germany said it will oblige all petrol stations to offer electric car charging to help remove refuelling concerns and boost consumer demand for the vehicles as part of its 130 billion euro ($146 billion) economic recovery plan. Read more at Reuters
  19. It’s taken just a little over two years for the Tesla big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, to re-coup in revenue the cost of construction of what remains the world’s biggest lithium ion battery. Read more at Renew Economy
  20. The levelized cost of energy generated by large scale solar plants is around $0.068/kWh, compared to $0.378 ten years ago and the price fell 13.1% between 2018 and last year alone, according to figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Read more at pv magazine
  21. Carlsberg and Coca-Cola back pioneering project to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles Read more at The Guardian
  22. Insect protein is starting to gain in popularity globally. Read more at Moneyweb
  23. Facebook and Instagram are adding a big new e-commerce feature: Shops. Businesses will be able to list the goods they have for sale on the social networks. It's part of a major push by Facebook in recent years to move into ecommerce, taking it up against the likes of Amazon and Etsy. Facebook said it accelerated the rollout of the feature to help small businesses affected by Covid-19. Read more at Business Insider Unlike Facebook Marketplace which acts as a classifieds advertising platform Shops will have e-commerce functionality to accept payments via credit card. It will live "inside" both Facebook and Instagram, and there are plans to add it to messaging apps WhatsApp and Messenger as well eventually.
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