Covid-19 hits Capitec; Islamic State targets Mozambique project; state capture dirt; CPD bail-out

By Jackie Cameron

  • Capitec, one of South Africa’s largest banks, has been hit hard by Covid-19 containment. On Friday, Capitec announced that profits were likely to plunge by a staggering 70%. Its customers, many low-income earners, have been unable to find funds to keep up with loan repayments. Capitec was among the corporates urging the government to relax lockdown restrictions to boost business activity. More than 3,000 people have died of Covid-19 in South Africa, of the nearly 190,000 who have tested positive for the disease, as of Saturday.
  • Islamic State is threatening Africa’s biggest investment in Mozambique – a $23bn project to export natural gas to Europe and Asia that has been described by international analysts as Africa’s biggest investment. Islamic State is also threatening stability in the region, warn analysts. The gas project, led by Total SA, is under the guard of dozens of soldiers clutching AK-47s and grenade launchers, reports Bloomberg.
  • There is enough evidence to get some ANC leaders into the dock for state capture, say constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos and journalist Max du Preez. They set out the details in a BizNews webinar, hosted by Linda van Tilburg. Listen to the snapshots in this BizNews Flash Briefing. For more on the state capture lineup, visit BizNews Premium where you will find an in-depth package on the state capture rogues gallery.
  • The central bank has issued a R3.45bn guarantee to bail out the Corporation for Public Deposits (CPD), a government investment arm hit by surging defaults at state agricultural lender Land Bank, reports Reuters. The issue adds a further strain on state finances as the government props up its main power utility and airline, which were already struggling before the coronavirus crisis, and now faces rising defaults at the agricultural lender. CPD, which purchased various debt instruments from Land Bank, said overall it suffered a R2.8bn loss in the 2019/20 financial year, necessitating the central bank bailout, says the news agency.
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