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Business news headlines: Tumisang Ndlovu – Moneyweb

Uber taxi service faces challenges in China, Europe, US and SA.

SIKI MGABADELI: Good evening and welcome to the Friday edition of the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.
   You saw the December 2014 new vehicle sales data out earlier in the week, up over 10% in the month. So that’s just further evidence that South Africans love their cars. We love our new cars. It’s what we do. So today we are going talk trends – what are you buying and how are you buying it, and what should you be buying in 2015.
   And then we are going to be focusing on stocks for 2015 in our annual stock-pick time and today we are chatting to Nerina Visser and Simon Brown. If you want to enter the competition for 2015, do send your pick to Julius@Moneyweb.co.za with the subject heading “stock pick”. Those entries close on January 18.
   Magnus Heystek of Brenthurst Wealth is joining us for the first time this year to talk us through the week on the markets, and of course he is going to give us his stock pick as well for the year – hopefully. He looked a bit scared when I said that.
   But first, let’s get your business news headlines from Tumisang Ndlovu

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Siki. Good evening.
   Eskom’s failure to keep the lights on remains under the spotlight as the power utility again implemented nationwide load-shedding today, this following Eskom’s confidence earlier this week saying it didn’t expect any blackouts over the weekend after repairing one of the two generators which went offline. But it now says it’s not able to service the current demand which has exceeded supply. Eskom, which is also battling financial woes, has again urged South Africans to use power sparingly. Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe:

KHULU PHASIWE: There will always be a risk of load-shedding. However, we will do everything possible to make sure that we keep the lights on. But we will not keep the lights on at all costs. In other words, if the system is under pressure and we do not get the necessary savings that we require and also some of our units are down, we will have to implement load-shedding. And hopefully people will understand how we implement load-shedding

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Wetherlys as well as Geen & Richards are expected to be sold by the Ellerines furniture arm of failed South African lender African Bank Investments. This forms part Abil’s rescue administration since the Reserve Bank stepped in to save the company from insolvency due to unsecured lending. Ellerines already has approval to sell about 63 stores of its Bears brand to Lewis Group for $8m and disposal of Dial-a-Bed to Coricraft.
   And taxi service Uber now faces challenges in China. The authorities have banned drivers of private cars from operating under the company over issues related to operating licences. Similar issues sparked protests in Europe last year by traditional taxi drivers against Uber while in the US the service has been implicated in insurance fraud. Here at home the City of Cape Town has impounded about 30 Uber vehicles for operating without the proper documentation. The city’s JP Smith says the company has to apply for an operating licence.

JP SMITH: The National Land Transportation Act requires us to impound a vehicle operating contrary to its operating licence or without an operating licence… First you get the licence, then you put your vehicles on the road.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Financial indicators – the rand is trading at R11.50/dollar, R17.44/pound and R13.60/euro. Gold is trading at $1 220/oz, platinum at $1 230/oz and Brent crude oil at $50.07/barrel.

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