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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

One day to elections, Steinhoff results expected, AB InBev Q1 results, Sacci business confidence.

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. A day to elections – have you made your decision?

South Africa, you have a day left before you must mark your X on the spot. On Wednesday South Africans will be heading to the polls to cast their vote in the most hotly-contested national elections yet. Campaigning and electioneering is done and now South Africans will have to say who they believe will be the nation’s saviour.

It is predicted that the ANC will maintain its position as ruling party, but by a smaller margin than before, the DA is working on its race to the top and the EFF is voicing its thundering views on land ownership and reform. Minority parties also won’t go unnoticed in this year’s elections. 

The Xs will be telling …

Read:

Help, I don’t know who to vote for

The mathematics of an election 

Taxpayers and their powerful vote

2. Steinhoff results

Following numerous delays and audits, embattled retailer, Steinhoff will be releasing its 2017 financial results on Tuesday. The company has been engulfed in an accounting scandal which wiped off nearly 90% of its market value. An investigation by PwC revealed that a number of Steinhoff executives fabricated transactions, and inflated earnings and asset values over a number of years to boost the company’s profits and property values. The company is now synonymous with the accounting scandal, but a number of its subsidiaries, namely Pepkor and Tekkie Town are working to reclaim their reputation.

The company’s restated results are due later on Tuesday, update to follow.

Read: Steinhoff to dig deeper into $7.4bn of dodgy deals

3. AB InBev reports Q1 results

Beer brewery, AB InBev is reporting revenue growth of 5.9% and an 8.2% increase in Ebitda in Q1, maintaining the momentum from the fourth quarter in 2018. The company says for the first quarter of 2019, it was able to deliver an increase in normalised earnings per share to $1.27 from $0.73 in the fourth quarter of 2018. It attributes this growth to mark-to-market gains linked to the hedging of its share-based payment programmes. The company highlights the US and Brazil as key areas of growth and improvement.

Read: AB InBev plans Asian IPO as brewer seeks to reduce debt

4. Sacci business confidence

The South African Chamber of Commerce Industry (Sacci) is expected to release its business confidence index for April on Tuesday. In March, business confidence declined sharply to 91.8 from 93.4 in February. According to Trading Economics, the decline was a result of the slow pace of structural reforms, disruptions as a result of Eskom’s implemented blackouts and the more recent electricity tariff hikes.

5. Diverted commuters become sitting ducks 

The reconstruction of the M2 highway is having a ripple effect, not just where traffic is concerned, but on crime as well. According to Bloomberg, the traffic diversion into the Joburg CBD has increased hijackings by gunpoint during gridlock traffic. Banks, such as Absa and First National Bank, which are operating in the area have implemented additional security and safety measures for both the streets and their own staff, saying city officials and metropolitan police will also be monitoring crime hotspots in the area.

Read: Armed robbery of Johannesburg bankers spurs security-guard boom

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