Small business wins big insurance battle; consumer confidence hits Rubicon lows; Edcon; SA arms

By Jackie Cameron

  • A small Cape Town restaurant, Café Chameleon, triumphed against Guardrisk Insurance, part of insurance giant Momentum Metropolitan Holdings. The Western Cape High Court has ruled that the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa resulted in the lockdown and ordered Guardrisk to pay the losses Café Chameleon was able to calculate and quantify as well as its legal costs. Guardrisk was granted five days to appeal the judgment. For more on that story, listen to the interviews on BizNews Radio.
  • Consumer confidence has crashed to its lowest level since 1985. FNB reports that its Consumer Confidence Index plummeted from an already depressed level of -9 in the first quarter of 2020 to a shocking -33 during the second quarter. The latest CCI reading is now only 3 index points shy of the all-time lowest consumer confidence level (of -36) recorded in 1985 – a year that was racked by violent resistance against apartheid, a partial state of emergency, then president P.W. Botha’s infamous Rubicon speech and South Africa’s subsequent debt crisis.
  • An anti-arms activist, Terry Crawford-Browne, has called for a Parliamentary investigation into arms exports from South Africa. Terry Crawford-Browne says, despite restrictions and a Covid-19 aviation lockdown, Rheinmetall Denel Munitions has continued with the export of arms to Turkey in and there is the possibility that South African arms are being used on both sides of the Libyan conflict. Earlier this year RDM was accused by watchdog Open Secrets of supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons used in their offensive against Yemen. For more on that, read Crawford-Browne’s statements on BizNews.com.
  • More jobs could be saved than expected at Edcon Holdings. Bloomberg reports that administrators led by Lance Schapiro and Piers Marsden struck a deal with Retailability Pty, a holding company for brands Legit, Beaver Canoe and Style, which owns 460 stores across southern Africa. Details of the transaction will be finalised based on further agreements, the business-rescue team said on Tuesday. “This is a good outcome for Edgars – if the deal goes through – because they might be able to save more jobs than expected,” Lulama Qongqo, an analyst at Mergence Investment Managers in Cape Town, is reported as saying. “Depending on the purchase price, lenders and real-estate investment trusts may be able to recoup some of the funds owed to them.” Edcon was put into a local form of bankruptcy protection in late April.
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