Tag: economy

By Sam Mkokeli, Mike Cohen, Paul Vecchiatto and Amogelang Mbatha for Fin24/Bloomberg 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former central bank Governor Tito Mboweni as his finance minister on Tuesday, replacing Nhlanhla Nene, who lied about his meetings with the Guptas.

Mboweni, the nation’s fifth finance chief in less than three years, will have to oversee an economy that’s fallen into recession and help Ramaphosa rebuild confidence battered by almost nine years of mismanagement under former President Jacob Zuma. He must also reassure investors and credit-rating companies of credible plans to stabilise debt and revive growth in the mid-term budget on October 24.

“In the wake of Mr. Nene’s resignation, I have decided to appoint Mr. Tito Mboweni as minister of finance with immediate effect,” Ramaphosa said. “Mr. Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a very critical time for our economy.”

Mboweni, who trained as an economist, served as head of the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009 and for four years as labor minister in former President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet. His major achievement at the central bank was building the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves to almost $40 billion from less than $10 billion.

The rand gained 0.6% to R14.76/$ by 16:51 in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.4%. Yields on benchmark 2026 government bonds fell six basis points to 9.22%.

Source: IOL/Bloomberg

The business cycle in South Africa, where the economy entered its first recession in almost a decade in the second quarter, is in its longest downward phase since records started in 1945.

It entered a 58th straight month of declines in September, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The regulator monitors about 200 indicators representing economic processes such as production, sales, employment and prices to determine the direction of the trend.

By Carin Smith for News24

About 41% of economically active South Africans are estimated not to have any retirement plan in place, according to a survey by 10X Investments.

It defines “economically active” people as those with a monthly income of more than R7 600.

The survey went out to over a million South Africans and, according to 10X, this serves as a representation of the 11.9 million economically active South Africans in the country.

The survey estimates that more than 40% of economically active women across all demographics have no investments or savings in any form.

Crisis coming

About 46% of the 1.4 million respondents to the survey indicated a “profound” lack of trust in the retirement industry.

The report points out that SA is sitting on a retirement timebomb, with only 6% of the country’s population on track to retire comfortably, according to National Treasury.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the crisis in retirement planning in the country has improved at all in the last 20 years,” states the report.

The report found a lack of understanding among many existing clients of the retirement industry of what they have saved and what they need to have saved.

Fewer than 50% of the respondents were aware of how much money they could expect at retirement.

The survey found that 46% of respondents began planning for retirement only after becoming established with partners or having children, while just 22% began planning at the beginning of their careers, which is what is recommended.

Founder and CEO of 10X Investments Steven Nathan says many people only discover that their retirement products have performed poorly when it is too late.

Gender gap

He said the survey results point to the gender pay gap in SA, where women are understood to earn around a quarter less than their male counterparts. This has a knock-on effect on retirement savings.

The report also noted that the gender pay disparity is often exacerbated by the increased likelihood that women’s careers will be interrupted during pregnancy and child-rearing.

A mere 16% of the women respondents reported investing their savings to grow their wealth.

The report concludes that just putting money aside is not enough in a high-inflation environment like South Africa. Saving money in a traditional bank account in this type of environment means your money is actually shrinking, and that in the future it will be able to buy less than it would today.

The report, therefore, highlights the fact that a big contributor to South Africa’s retirement crisis is lack of understanding of key concepts, such as the need for retirement savings to keep up with inflation.

SA faces ‘biggest ever’ fuel hike in October

By Tom Head for The South African

You might have heard a few horror stories about the petrol price in South Africa soaring by R1 for next month. Well, we’re here to tell you it all seems completely true.

The AA forecast a rise of R1.12 per litre of petrol, and a whopping increase of R1.38 for diesel in October – a devastating blow that has been described as “the biggest single hike” in our country’s history. But what’s fuelling this crisis, and why are costs spiralling so dramatically? We’ve got answers.

Oil prices are nearing $100 a barrel
There’s a very bleak outlook for oil prices on a global scale. This is by no means a consolation, but it goes some way to explaining why it’s getting ridiculous in South Africa. It’s not just internal factors that have ramped up the petrol price. Some commentators believe oil prices will hit a 10-year high of $100 a barrel soon.

Tension between the US and Iran
It’s hard to accept, but the world tends to revolve around America at this point. While President Trump is taking a more hostile approach to foreign policy, Iran has become one of his targets. Now, the country is one of the biggest exporters of oil in the world, but there’s trouble on the horizon.

The US government are set to impose further sanctions on Iran while pulling out of an agreement regarding a nuclear deal achieved by the Obama Administration. Production is already dropping in the Middle-Eastern country, and further financial turmoil will have a negative effect on oil costs.

Countries not producing the goods
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has highlighted that Libya produced 1.5 million barrels of oil a day before the regime collapsed in 2011. That number is now almost at a third of what it used to be.

Venezuela’s current crisis also got a mention. They are a member of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but the oil industry has all but collapsed in the South American state. To put it in laymen’s terms, production is down and the cost has gone up.

A weak rand value to the dollar
It’s been a nightmare month for the rand, which has had to battle against the fierce knockout blow delivered by the recession. With the financial crisis coming as something of a surprise, the rand plummeted against the greenback and has struggled to find its feet ever since.

It soared above the R15 mark, and only recently came back down to R14.40. Most recently, Turkey’s currency tanked as a result of Trump’s intense import tariffs, aimed at stimulating industrial growth within the US.

In a global market, for every action, there is a reaction, and all emerging economies felt the knock-on effect of Turkey’s wobble.

Government subsidy backfires
Have you ever tried to help a situation but only gone and made things worse? Well, that’s effectively what happened to Jeff Radebe last month. The minister announced that the government would subsidise fuel costs for the month of September, meaning that an increase in the petrol price was smaller than forecast.

However, what were we just saying about actions and reactions? The slight relief felt this month will be compounded by the misery said to be coming our way next week.

For petrol prices to rise by a rand within a 30-day period is sharp, shocking rise. Had there been no government intervention, there’d be less of a knock-on effect. October’s rise could have been as “little” as 50 cents per litre, had South Africans been allowed to pay the full whack in September.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

South African consumers have saved billions of rands in loyalty programme rewards offered and are increasingly taking advantage of their reward points given the country’s tough economic climate, which is having an impact on consumer goods including fuel, electricity and food.

According to Clicks customer marketing executive, Heloise Janse Van Rensburg, the Clicks ClubCard loyalty programme, one of the oldest, which was introduced in 1995, was doing exceptionally well, especially given the tough economic climate the retailer was trading in.

Janse Van Rensburg says this speaks to how the retailer’s ClubCard customers valued their cashback rewards.

“Our Clicks ClubCard has 7.5 million active members.We provide simple, easy rewards that are accessible and convenient to our customers. In 2017 alone, over R320 million was paid to ClubCard members in cashback rewards,” says Janse Van Rensburg.

She says ClubCard cashback could be used to pay for purchases in Clicks, Claire’s and The Body Shop stores.

Consumers have saved billions of rands in loyalty programme rewards offered and are increasingly taking advantage of their reward points.

Janse Van Rensburg added that ClubCard had an array of ClubCard partners like Shell, Discovery HealthCare, Sorbet, The Body Shop, Musica, SpecSavers and Execuspecs, City Lodge Hotel Group, Europecar and Netflorist where customers can earn further ClubCard points and benefits.

John Bradshaw, Pick n Pay’s head of marketing, says the Smart Shopper rewards programme was launched in 2011 to reward loyal customers, the retailer’s way of saying thank you to its customers.

Bradshaw says customer reaction to the launch of the programme exceeded Pick n Pay’s expectations and the retailer currently had more 7 million active customers.

He added that Pick n Pay modernised Smart Shopper early last year to introduce more personalised discounts and during this financial year, offered R3 billion in personal discounts to its Smart Shoppers.

“Accessibility is critical and we always look at ways to make this easier for customers across multiple platforms. We have already gone digital with the launch of our mobile app which as proved very popular. Innovation has played an important role in Smart Shopper’s success,” says Bradshaw.

He added that every Thursday, Smart Shoppers receive personal Just for You discounts on the products they buy most often.

“These are worth over R500 per customer per year. These personalised discounts are automatically loaded weekly for each Smart Shopper. Customers can claim these by loading the discounts onto their card at the Smart Shopper kiosk in-store, via email or on the Pick n Pay mobile app. The card is then swiped at the till with the qualifying products to get the savings. These personalised discounts have been well received with customers and over a million customers are using their personalised discounts,” says Bradshaw.

Woolworths says the Woolworth WRewards programme was not a traditional points based programme and customers enjoy instant savings at point of sale (POS) on their till slip and on the Woolworths App, product voucher offers and up to 3 percent Cash back when buying with their Woolworths Credit card.

Woolworths says the WRewards in its current format had been in operation since September 2010 customers have saved a total of R538m during the period June 26, 2017 to June 24 2018.

Consumers have saved billions of rands in loyalty programme rewards offered and are increasingly taking advantage of their reward points. Picture: Nabeelah Shaikh
“No other programme gives you the opportunity to give back via a Community Loyalty programme such as MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet. To date the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme has given back over R570 since its inception in October 1997,” says Woolworths.

By Bekezela Phakathi with Andries Mahlangu for Business Day

The government will reprioritise about R50bn within its existing budget to reignite economic growth and create jobs, President Cyril Ramaphosa said last Friday.

Presenting the government’s much-anticipated grand plan to kick-start SA’s stalling economy, Ramaphosa also announced the establishment of an infrastructure fund that is a core part of the package. He said R400bn will be leveraged from various development finance institutions, pension funds and ordinary investors, among others over the medium term to drive the infrastructure fund.

“We are establishing a dedicated infrastructure team in the presidency that has project management and engineering skills which will identify shovel-ready public sector projects such as roads and dams,” Ramaphosa said during a briefing at the Union Buildings.

“We have limited fiscal space to increase spending or increase borrowing … we do not have have fiscal space to pour money in the economy … we have to resort to re-prioritising our spending and budget within the current fiscal frame work,” the president said.

The package also includes the new Mining Charter, major changes to visa requirements to boost the tourism sector, the development of industrial parks and township businesses, and reforms in the telecommunications industry, particularly the release of spectrum to create competition and drive down the cost of data.

“The stimulus package consists of a range of measures, financial and non-financial, to ignite economic activity and restore investor confidence, and prevent further job losses, and create new jobs,” Ramaphosa said.

The measures give priority to those sectors that can revive the economy, including agriculture.
Ramaphosa said more details on how the budget will be reprioritised will be provided when finance minister Nhlanhla Nene presents the medium-term budget policy statement. Nene said most of the funds for the stimulus package would be moved from under-performing departments.

Ramaphosa first proposed the stimulus package in July, in a bid to boost SA’s sluggish economy and tackle the unemployment crisis, which at just more than 27% remains a major headache for the government more than two decades since the official fall of apartheid. However, Ramaphosa’s plan to reignite growth was dealt a heavy blow with shock second-quarter GDP data indicating that SA had entered a technical recession.

The rand extended gains and government borrowing costs fell following the speech. The rand was at R14.22 against the dollar, its best level in about four weeks, while the yield on the benchmark R186 bond was at 9.03% from 9.08%.

Debit order disputes on the rise

By Carin Smith for Fin24

Debit order disputes have increased significantly over the last three years, according to the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA).

Yet, it said recent investigations have shown that in the majority of cases, proof that debit orders were indeed authorised by consumers could be provided.

According to PASA, the increase in debit order disputes could mean that companies have bad practices in obtaining such debit order mandates, or that consumers are asking their banks to reverse actual valid debit orders.

Consumers could be doing this, because the reversal of such legitimate debit orders creates temporary cash flow relief for them. PASA emphasises however, that this kind of behaviour by consumers is not acceptable and has become a huge concern for the financial services industry.

As part of a project to reduce debit order disputes, banks are investigating ways to enhance their current dispute and prosecution processes.

Over the last few years PASA has been working with banks to address debit order abuse. Initiatives include – statistically identifying potential problematic companies, refining the minimum criteria for mandates, and managing a debit order abuse list which can result in “rogue companies” being excluded from the system.

Initiatives also include a process to investigate and issue fines or initiating forensic investigations and prosecution when companies do not have mandates or have mandates that do not conform to minimum requirements.

DebiCheck

One of the most pertinent, but longer-term solutions to curb debit order abuse remains the Authenticated Collections project that was started in 2013.

Now close to implementation, the project will deliver a new type of debit order, called DebiCheck. Currently there are 11 banks participating in DebiCheck. Through this new debit order system, a debit order will only be processed to a consumer’s account if the mandate for such a debit order has been electronically confirmed by the consumer.

This means that consumers will be aware of which DebiCheck debit orders will be processed to their accounts – and these debit orders will not be processed by the bank if they are outside the agreed conditions the consumer initially confirmed.

As a result, PASA foresees that the number of invalid debit orders being processed as well as the number of consumer disputes where valid mandates are in place will rapidly decline.

Improving safety and efficiency

Additionally, an interbank committee has been established and mandated to improve the safety and efficiency of debit orders. This is through including new ways to better identify existing users abusing the system, enhanced measures and support to ensure offenders are adequately investigated and prosecuted, and processes that will assist in curtailing improper consumer behaviour.

PASA says consumers continue to have the right to dispute or instruct their bank to reverse debit orders they have not agreed to, or which are processed outside the mandate they have given.

They should continue to be watchful when entering into contracts – verbally, in writing or electronically. PASA also encourages consumers to check their bank statements on a regular basis. Also, not to provide or confirm account information if they are not certain what exactly it will be used for.

The industry is currently involved in the prosecution of certain rogue collectors. PASA believes the new measures it is working on will significantly assist the authorities and improve the success of prosecution.

Business confidence worse than in 2017

By Asha Speckman for TimesLive

The economy was unlikely to shake off anaemic growth in the second quarter of this year‚ economists said on Tuesday after a dip in the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) Business Confidence Index confirmed their concerns.

The Sacci Business Confidence dipped to 93.7 index points in June from 94 index points previously. The index has slipped each month from a high of 99.7 in January this year.

John Ashbourne‚ Africa economist at Capital Economics said: “The latest drop strengthens our view that South Africa’s economy remained weak in quarter two.”

Economic growth contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter of this year after a stronger finish in 2017.

The Sacci index is a measure of business activity and is based on several indicators including energy production‚ trade figures and the performance of financial markets.

Seven of the thirteen sub-indices reflected negativity in the business environment.

The largest negative influences were the weaker rand exchange rate‚ lower real retail sales‚ a decline in the value of building plans passed and higher energy costs.

A rise in merchandise import and export volumes and new vehicle sales impacted positively.

The risk of a global trade war and potential knock-on effects also weighed negatively on the outlook from certain industries in South Africa‚ the survey noted.

Ashbourne anticipated further clarity when mining and manufacturing production and sales data for May are published on Thursday.

Weakness in these sectors is‚ however‚ expected to continue. The recent Absa purchasing manufacturer’s index‚ which measures activity in the manufacturing sector‚ dropped to 47.9 index points in June from 49.8 in May.

The index reading was 50.9 in April. A reading below the 50 neutral mark indicates a possible slowdown in business activity.

Lara Hodes‚ an economist at Investec‚ said about second quarter growth: “We’re not expecting positive news.”

Hodes said growth in mining was tempered by continued uncertainty over the mining charter and a restrained investment.

Investec expects an improvement to -3.5% for mining in May compared to -4.3% previously. It has forecast manufacturing to be -1.4% from 1.1% in April compared to a BNP Paribas expectation of 0.1% growth from 1.1% previously. However‚ Hodes said retail trade sales and consumer confidence data to be released next week would complete the picture.

Ashbourne said the potential slowdown had prompted London-based Capital Economics to temper its growth forecast for the year to 1.3% from 2% previously.

National Treasury has forecast 1.5% for the year and the Reserve Bank expects 1.7%.

Sacci said: “It has become imperative that structural economic matters hampering inclusive economic growth should be addressed with economic rationality. Uncertainties surrounding economic policy direction and position should be clarified so that investor and business confidence can reaffirm itself.”

Petrol price triples in a decade

By James de Villiers for Business Insider SA 

The price of a litre of petrol in South Africa increased from R6.92 in July 2008 to R15.53 in July 2018 at the coast, and from R7.16 to R16.02 inland – nearly tripling in the last decade.


Infographic: Fin24

Over the same period, the tax (or fuel levy) on a litre of petrol increased from a low of R1.27 in July 2008 to R3.37 in July 2018.

This means the tax on fuel increased by 165.35% in 10 years.

On Sunday, the department of energy announced that a litre of unleaded petrol will increase by 26c, pushing the price of a litre past R16 in the inland for the first time.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe ascribed the increasing petrol price to the rand’s poor performance to the US dollar.

Radebe said the increase would have been 20c more if it wasn’t for declining oil prices.

A litre of petrol is now nearly R16

By Jay Caboz for Business Insider SA 

After last night’s increase, a litre of petrol will cost twice as much as a litre of Coke. These favourite local SA items will cost the same as – or more than – a litre of petrol will tonight.

After tonight’s price increase South Africans will be paying almost R16 per litre for petrol. In Gauteng one can expect to pay R15.79 per litre while coastal cities will pay R15.20 per litre, according to the Central Energy Fund.

The recent fuel hikes have been taxing on South African motorists who will now be forking out even more following May’s 49c per litre increase.

Business Insider South Africa visited shopping stores to see how this compared to some of South Africa’s daily items on the isles.

These favourite local SA items will cost almost the same as a litre of petrol will tonight:

  • A litre of Clover Long Life Full Cream Milk – R15.99.
  • A 300ml bottle of drinking yogurt (R15.08) or a 500g tub of plain low fat yogurt (R15.99).
  • A 2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola – R15.99.
  • A 5-litre bottle of water – R16.99.
  • 750ml of No Name Cooking Oil – R15.99
  • A 250ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink go for R14.99.
  • A 350ml refill of Sunlight dish washing liquid.
  • A six pack of hotdog rolls from Pick n Pay – R14.99.
  • A kilogram of rice – R15.99.
  • For the sweet tooth you can get a packet of marshmallows (R15.49), a small packet of Cadbury Tumblers Raisins (R16.13), or a 85g packet of microwave popcorn (R16.49).
  • 1
  • 2
  • 9

Follow us on social media: 

               

View our magazine archives: 

                       


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Top