Business news headlines: Tumisang Ndlovu – Moneyweb

The national minimum wage for farm workers will be increased by about R15/day.

SIKI MGABADELI: Good evening and welcome to the Friday edition of the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.
   Production updates from Anglo American and its subsidiaries Kumba and Amplats. We are speaking to Peter Major of Cadiz.
   The major mining companies surveyed by the KPMG Mining Financial Reporting Survey 2014 reported an impairment loss of $70bn in the 2013/14 financial year. That of course signals the impact of the low commodity price cycle that we are currently experiencing.
   And in our SME feature my colleague Tumisang Ndlovu speaks to Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners Limited about the improving forecast for small businesses in 2015.
   Mohammed Nalla of Nedbank Capital is watching the markets for us today. But first, Tumisang Ndlovu has your business news headlines.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Siki. Good evening.
   There are mounting concerns that Eskom’s power supply and financial challenges seem to be worsening following three consecutive days of load-shedding. The power utility has suspended load-shedding for the day as a result of low electricity demand. The blackouts saw the rand weaken yesterday, raising further concerns over the effects of Eskom’s woes on the country. Spokesperson Andrew Etzinger has continued to urge consumers to use electricity sparingly, saying the power grid remains tight and load-shedding is still a possibility for the remainder of this week.

ANDREW ETZINGER: Problems are arising frequently. We need to be vigilant. Again, the grid is very tight. It’s best to be prepared for possible load-shedding for the rest of the week.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Still on struggling parastatals, South African Airways will finalise its annual financial statements for 2013/14 at the end of this week. SAA must provide the National Treasury with comprehensive details of its 90-day action plan intended to restore solvency. This forms part of conditions attached to Treasury’s almost R6.5bn guarantee for the national airline.
   Sasol plans to conserve cash in response to lower international oil prices. This includes identifying opportunities for additional cash savings targeted over the next 30 months. The petroleum company says the plan is over and above the current target of at least R4bn in sustainable cost-savings by 2016. The price of Brent crude oil has dropped sharply over the past few months. It is now seemingly holding at just over $48/barrel.
   And the national minimum wage for farm workers will be increased by about R15/day. Farm workers will now earn between R120/day and up to R2 500/month. This follows violent wage strikes by farmers [farm workers?] in the Western Cape in 2012/2013.
   Financial indicators this hour: the rand is trading at R11.51/dollar, R17.44/pound and R13.03/euro. Gold is trading at $1 287.43/oz, platinum at $1 260.50/oz and Brent crude oil at $48.76/barrel.

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