The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
By Jackie Cameron
- More explosive evidence of the role of former president Jacob Zuma and his friend, Dudu Myeni, in Eskom affairs has emerged unfolding at the Zondo Inquiry into State capture. Myeni – the former SAA chairperson described as a ‘wrecking ball’ and who presided over the airline as it sucked up billions of taxpayers’ funds in bailouts — has been described as a political ally of former president Jacob Zuma. Myeni’s hand man Nick Linell, a former lawyer, told the Zondo Commission that Myeni was privy to knowledge about the inner workings of the power utility and helped to identify people who would be suspended, allegedly to make way for Gupta associates. Linell, who met Myeni in 2012, said Myeni actively participated in two Eskom meetings with Zuma. For more on that, For more on that, see the latest reports on the Zondo Commission at BizNews.com.
- In another report on Eskom, energy expert Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Business Intelligence, has lifted the lid on a scam involving Koeberg generators. In a deal described as ‘the most expensive transport of scrap metal in the history of humankind’, Eskom allegedly paid a premium for the R5bn replacement by Areva of the steam generators at Koeberg on the basis of a claimed three-month shorter completion time, when in fact completion will be some three years longer. State-owned Eskom is a major drain on state coffers, and is also hugely inefficient, with power cuts bringing business activity to a standstill regularly in South Africa. The full analysis of the Eskom financial scandal is available at BizNewscom.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for investors with cash to snap up property assets at low prices. This is thanks to sellers offloading non-performing assets. JSE-listed Sun International – a gaming and hospitality group is selling Sun Carousel, which has hotels, apartments and retail space. Analysts have described the offering as a ‘steal’. The guide price on the property is R200 million – its owners are hoping to get north of this price, and the municipal valuation as listed on the property brochure is R529 million. There’s also more on that story, at BizNews.com.
- Volatility in emerging market currencies will not let up in the next six months as US presidential election jitters mount and domestic economic growth tapers off, a Reuters poll of market strategists showed. “EM currencies are running on empty without capital inflows or a resounding macro narrative. The large output gap and lower level of economic activity will have a disproportionately negative impact on currencies,” said Jason Daw, head of emerging markets strategy at Societe Generale. The Chinese yuan, the most actively traded emerging market currency but also tightly managed by its local authorities, was predicted to edge up about 1% to 6.70 per dollar in a year from now, says Reuters. South Africa’s rand, which has been on a rollercoaster ride since April, is expected to gain nearly 0.5% to 16.5 per dollar in 12 months. “The rand’s appeal has been enhanced by the lack of alternative high-yielding currencies as growing geopolitical risks diminished the appetite for assets in Turkey and Russia,” it says.
- President Donald Trump is considering a televised address to the nation as he convalesces from his novel coronavirus infection, reports Bloomberg. He again likened the disease to the less dangerous seasonal flu, urging Americans to learn to live with Covid-19 while overstating the number of annual flu deaths. Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after a four-day stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre for treatment for Covid-19.
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