Flash briefing: Cape company gets set to produce Covid vaccines; economic crisis; Famous Brands; Sasol

By Jackie Cameron

  • Cape company gets ready to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine. The Biovac Institute, a Cape Town-based joint venture between the government and private sector, could produce up to 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per year, depending on the technology involved, Chief Executive Morena Makhoana told Reuters. Depending on whether the vaccines require a one- or two-dose regimen, that could be enough for a quarter or half of South Africa’s population. “We need to look at who is likely to get to the finishing line and who has the technological fit,” Makhoana said, when asked which vaccine candidate Biovac might partner with.
  • At least 20% of jobs and businesses in SA are lost forever, thanks to a strict Covid-19 lockdown. So says analyst Dwaine Janse van Vuuren of Recession Alert, who notes that he government is estimating about 10% loss of GDP to Covid-19, whilst external analysts are far more pessimistic, favouring economic losses in the low teens. More on that story, at BizNews.com.
  • It’s back to the drawing board for Tito Mboweni with his plan to fix SA. The South African Treasury has asked parliament to reschedule the mid-term budget delivery for October the 28th, a week later than planned, as Finance Minister Tito Mboweni assesses the implications of the government’s economic recovery plan, set for release by Presiden Cyril Ramaphosa today.
  • The Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has taken over British-based chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) in a rescue deal that will save 35 restaurants and 669 jobs – but more than 360 people will be made redundant with the closure of 26 sites, said accounting firm Deloitte, according to Reuters. Earlier in the day, reports Reuters, South African owner Famous Brands said the GBK restaurant chain had entered administration after becoming the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in the face of Covid-19.

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