The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
By Jackie Cameron
- About 10,500 people have died of Covid-19 in South Africa, with the total number of reported cases at around 560,000. The number of global Covid-19 cases is about 20m, with more than 5m of these in the US. South Africa has the fifth highest number of Covid-19 cases, but the death toll is lower than other countries that have reported a high rate of Covid-19. More than 730,000 people have died of Covid-19 around the world. The highest death rate is recorded in the US, at 163,000.
- Tencent Holdings, the Chinese tech giant that underpins Naspers and its Amsterdam-listed Prosus, added to Friday’s sharp decline to start the week, putting the stock’s two-day loss of market value at $66bn. This follows America’s move to ban residents from doing business with the company’s WeChat app. Reuters reports that the stock fell 4.8% Monday and nearly reached Friday’s low. The cumulative 9.6% drop, the worst two days since October 2011, followed a four-month, 70% surge which put shares into record territory and made the internet giant Asia’s most valuable company at nearly $700 billion. Naspers was among the worst performers on the JSE on Friday, shedding more than 4% by the end of trading at the start of the long weekend.
- Listed hotel group Sun International announced two of its casinos won’t reopen after the country’s coronavirus lockdown ends. The Covid-19 shutdown has wiped out income for accommodation providers and South Africa’s tourism sector is in crisis. The crash in food-and-beverage sales eased slightly in May as restaurants opened for delivery, but a renewed ban on the sale of alcohol could further weigh on the industry. Travel for leisure is still only allowed within provinces, which means seaside holidays and most game resorts are off limits to people in Gauteng, the richest and most populous province. Meanwhile, about 600 hospitality and leisure businesses are scheduled to fight Santam and other insurers in court next month after insurers refused to pay up for business interruption insurance. For more on that, go to BizNews.com
- South African investigators are seeking to recover more than R400m from German software firm SAP for two government contracts they allege were entered into unlawfully. That’s according to court documents seen by Reuters. “Although the amount of money sought is small for a company with a market value of around 162 billion euros, the move by the authorities is another headache for SAP, which in 2018 admitted to misconduct over deals with South African state firms during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure,” says the news service. SAP, a major global business software company, had said it was reviewing all its public sector deals in South Africa dating back to 2010, but it has not publicly flagged wrongdoing over the agreements in 2015 and 2016 with the Department of Water and Sanitation, reports Reuters.
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