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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

TymeBank clients still wary, Ramaphosa has until June 21 to respond to Public Protector, Group Five business rescue status, mining output.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. TymeBank clients still wary 

New player TymeBank has been on the market for a few months now and updated investors at a conference in Mauritius about progress to date. Tyme is much cheaper than traditional banks but the recent presentation shows that customers are taking a cautious view. The bank says it is targeting the bottom end of the market, which is often ignored by larger banks, but the presentation has revealed that out of 400 000 accounts opened, only 37% were active by the end of May. The bank has also not managed to attract large deposits from cash-strapped consumers, but time will tell as to whether this will change. 

Read: TymeBank clients take their time

2. Ramaphosa given deadline to respond to Public Protector’s report

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has given President Cyril Ramaphosa until June 21 to respond to her findings in a report which implicates him in the Bosasa scandal. The investigation was requested by opposition party leader, Mmusi Maimane. According to media reports, the Public Protector’s findings claim that Ramaphosa received a donation worth R500 000 from graft-tainted government services provider, Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, for his ANC campaign ahead of the ANC NEC in 2017. President Ramaphosa previously denied receiving money from Bosasa but backtracked a few days later, saying he was unaware of the payment, which would be returned.

Read: Ramaphosa gets deadline to answer public protector’s graft report

3. Group Five business rescue status

Group Five has released a report on construction company’s business rescue status, which notes that it was placed under business rescue on March 11 by resolution of the board. The business rescue plan was meant to be released on April 16, however an extension to June 28 was requested and approved by business rescue practitioners and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. Given the complexity and need for further engagement, additional time may be required. 

4. Mining production

South Africa’s mining production for April is expected to be released on Thursday. In March, mining production contracted 1.1% year-on-year, following an upwardly revised 8.1% fall the previous month. Notable declines were in gold output, which declined by 17.7% in March from 20.6% in February, as well as iron ore, chromium ore and platinum group metals which declined 0.5% in March. Output in March increased for copper, manganese ore, nickel, diamonds and coal.

Update to follow.

5. Naspers trading statement

Media and e-commerce giant, Naspers released a trading statement for the year ended March 31, 2019 on Wednesday afternoon. The company says from total operations it expects core headline earnings per share to increase between 31% and 33% from 180 to 191 US cents, while earnings per share is expected to decline between 39% and 40% to between 1 052 and 1 026 US cents from 2 631 US cents in 2018. Naspers says earnings per share was impacted significantly by the gain of $1.6 billion recognised on disposal of the group’s interest in Flipkart as well as by a gain recorded on the distribution of the MultiChoice Group to the group’s shareholders.

The company flags an increase of between 118% and 121% for headline earnings per share for the period.


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