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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1. Viceroy and the chamber of secrets

Small-time research group, Viceroy has gained notoriety since it released findings on accounting issues at Steinhoff. Later it released a report on Capitec Bank’s loan structure and compared it to the likes of the collapsed African Bank. A new report, this time released by Intellidex, has called Viceroy’s credibility into question, as it found that some of what Viceroy reported on Steinhoff was plagiarised. Moneyweb posed four questions to the short seller to uncover what ‘lies’ in its chamber of secrets, (see what we did there)?

Read the full story here: Four questions that Viceroy hasn’t answered

2. SA Express soon to be airbound

SA Express, which was grounded due to safety concerns in May, will be airbound again once its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is reinstated, SA Express said in a press release on Thursday. The airline had to undergo stringent processes to restructure its internal operations and meet the standards of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa). A new board and Ministerial Intervention Team has been appointed to correct the issues that lead to its grounding in the first place.

3. Saudi Arabia to invest billions in SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to be charming leaders from countries all around the world. He persuaded Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari to sign an Africa free-trade agreement and has now managed to get Saudi Arabia to invest $10 billion into South Africa, with a focus on the energy sector. Bloomberg is reporting that officials from Saudi Arabia will attend an investment summit in South Africa in October to give details of the planned spending.

4. Executive remuneration in the spotlight 

Comparing South African executive remuneration to South Africa’s national minimum wage was the top talk at the release of PwC’s 10th report on the subject on Thursday. Moneyweb is reporting that civil society groups argue that it is morally wrong for an executive to be paid R50 million (for their skills) in total compensation when the national minimum wage is set at R42 000 annually, saying it deepens South Africa’s inequality even further. The subject of executive remuneration is under scrutiny and there have been calls for investors to have a say on pay.

5. Distribution and Warehousing Network results

Manufacturer Distribution and Warehousing Network (DAWN) released its results for the financial year ended March 31, 2018 on Thursday. The company is reporting that revenue declined by 19.1% to R3.5 billion. The reported loss before tax reduced by 31.6% to R329.8 million. Headline loss is 49.7 cents per share and no dividend has been declared.


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