BizBriefing: Prosus prospers, ANC angers unions, High Court slams gavel on dodgy oil sale

By Melani Nathan

  • Prosus released its interim results for the 6 months to September and says it has been given a boost during the pandemic. Revenues increased 32% to US$12.7bn with strong growth across food delivery, e-tail and education. With a 141% revenue growth in food delivery. Bob van Dijk, Group CEO, commented: “We entered the pandemic with financial strength and good momentum and in the second half of the period, our businesses recovered well from the initial impact of Covid-19 and are now fundamentally stronger than they were going into the pandemic.”
  • South Africa’s ruling party has proposed using state-run unemployment and compensation fund surpluses to rescue the country’s debt-laden power utility, upsetting labour unions. The African National Congress said the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Fund had combined surpluses of R225bn in 2019. Instead of investing this in listed companies and government bonds it should be used for “economic reconstruction” the party said. Power utility Eskom has debt of almost R500bn.
  • The high court in Cape Town has reversed the infamous sale of SA’s entire strategic fuel stock by corrupt officials in 2015 and awarded compensation to the buyers, including for hedging losses, which will be costly to the state. The state must also pay the costs of the trading entities involved in the litigation. The deal, closed by the then acting CEO of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), Sibusiso Gamede, was done without Treasury permission under the guise of a “stock rotation”. It was signed off by then energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. The 3-million barrels were sold for $28 a barrel even though crude was trading at $38 a barrel at the time.
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