Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Cartrack and African Bank results, Astral’s cost crisis, Standard Bank closes Nova’s accounts, Mabuza to be reappointed as deputy president.
Astral faces cost crisis as water supply interruptions hit poultry processing plants in Standerton. Picture: Dhiraj Singh, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Cartrack results

Supplier of vehicle security systems, Cartrack is reporting a 28% increase in total revenue to R1.69 billion, with subscription revenue contributing 90% of the total revenue for the year ended February 28, 2019. The company added 209 418 subscriptions during the period, up from 150 770 in 2018, accordingly, subscription revenue increased by 30% to R1.52 billion. Headline earnings per share increased by 15% to 116 cents and a dividend of 12 cents per share has been declared. The CEO Isaias Jose Calisto says he is pleased with the company’s year-end results, which, he says, were driven by continued strength in top-line margins.

2. African Bank results

African Bank, which recently entered into the transactional account space via its MyWORLD offering, is reporting a decrease in profit for the six months ended March 31, 2018 to R69 million, from R77 million in 2018. The bank says retail customer deposits increased to R1.48 billion from R680 million, while cash deposits, which includes surplus liquid assets fell and amounted to R5.99 billion. The bank is a subsidiary of ABH, which is also reporting an increase in profit to R533 million from R448 million in 2018.

Read: African Bank makes entry-level bank account play

3. Astral’s cost crisis

Disrupted water supply to Astral’s poultry processing plant in Standerton has impacted the company’s profits by at least R85 million, according to a statement released on Tuesday. The company says costs are attributed to managing the impact of the short supply, to not slaughtering birds in accordance with the predetermined schedule and to slaughtering at alternative plants, as well as forced production cuts planned for June 2019. The company says the water supply issue lies with the deterioration of the municipal infrastructure of the Lekwa Local Municipality. The company says it is exploring alternative solutions in the interim to mitigate further cost implications.

4. Standard Bank cuts Nova by the cord

Embattled property company, Nova Property Group (NPG) is facing yet another conundrum. This time, the company’s bank accounts have reportedly been closed by Standard Bank, after the bank claimed it no longer wanted to do business with NPG. This is according to minutes of the Nova board meeting, seen by Moneyweb. The company is said to have already migrated its accounts to Absa Bank. In addition to this, Moneyweb is reporting the resignation of the chairman of the audit committee, Charles Rembe, although the reason for his resignation is not yet known.

Read: Standard Bank has closed Nova’s bank accounts

5. Mabuza clear to be appointed as deputy president

Tuesday was meant to be the day that South Africa would learn the members of President Ramaphosa’s new cabinet. Instead, it is the day that David Mabuza will be reappointed as South Africa’s deputy president. Mabuza had asked for his appointment to be postponed until he had cleared his name after the party’s integrity committee accused him of bringing the ANC into disrepute. Mabuza was linked to a succession of scandals during his tenure as premier of Mpumalanga. Mabuza will be sworn in on Tuesday, in Pretoria.

Read: Mabuza clear to be reappointed deputy president

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