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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Manufacturing data, Sacci business confidence, Adapt IT’s Oz acquisition, Optimum Coal mine on the clock, Necsa board puts up a fight.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Manufacturing production and sales

South Africa’s manufacturing output rose by 1.6% year on year in November, following a revised 2.8% increase in October, the statistics agency said on Thursday.

2. Sacci business confidence

South African business confidence fell to 95.2 in December from 96.1 in November on lower exports, fewer new vehicle sales and a decline in planned construction, a survey showed on Thursday.

Read: Business indicator rises 0.2% in October

3. Adapt IT to acquire Wisenet Group

Information, computer and technology company Adapt IT has announced its intention to purchase Australia’s Wisenet Group for about R30 million in cash. It will pay annual amounts until 2021 if Wisenet Group reaches certain operational targets. The decision comes as the JSE-listed company seeks to expand South Africa’s software presence in Australasia. According to TechCentral, Wisenet Group provides ‘software-as-a-service-learning relationship management system’ to training institutions.

Read: Adapt IT to buy Wisenet Group in Australasia expansion

4. Optimum Coal mine in payments mess

The formerly Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine has come under fire for its failure to pay some 8 000 of its mine workers and contractors in December. The mine is struggling to sustain operations and was placed under business rescue in 2018 after local banks withdrew transactional banking facilities, disabling it from settling creditors and paying workers. Moneyweb is reporting that business rescue practitioners are recommending the sale of the mine within the next two weeks to allow payment to workers.

Read: Optimum Coal workers go unpaid as rescue practitioners race to sell mine 

5. Nuclear energy board to fight dismissal

It’s been weeks since energy minister, Jeff Radebe took the decision to suspend three members of the Necsa board for apparent “defiance and ineptitude”. Moneyweb is reporting that the suspended members are not backing down as they are expected to make an appearance in The Pretoria High court next week to request a reversal of the minister’s decision. However, the fight will come as a cost. Read the full story here.

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