Five things making headlines in South Africa today

What your Discovery Health cover will cost you in 2020, Afrox results, Moyo and Manuel spat continues, and more.
Afrox is reporting a 7% increase in Heps for the six months ending June 30, 2019. Image: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Discovery Health ups fees

There will be bad news for Discovery Health members come January. According to Moneyweb, main members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme will pay between 8.88% and 10.96% more for their medical cover as of January. The increases are mostly skewed towards higher-end plans, with those in the Comprehensive range and Executive plan increasing near 11%. Further to this, the KeyCare plan and the KeyCare Plus plan will increase by a similar amount.

Read: Discovery Health’s 2020 medical aid increases

2. Afrox results

African Oxygen is reporting a 7% increase in headline earnings per share to 111.3 cents while basic earnings per share increased by 6.7% to 112 cents for the six months ended June 30, 2019. Revenue for the period increased by 3.3% to R300 million driven by improved volumes in the Atmospheric Gases segment and growth in its cylinder volumes within its Liquefied Petroleum Gas segment as well as the recovery of cost inflation across all three segments. Operating profit increased by 9.2% to R571 million for the period. A cash dividend of 55 cents per share is being declared for the period, up 5.8%.

3. The Moyo and Manuel fiasco

Old Mutual’s chairman Trevor Manuel is drawing the line in the battle against the company’s reinstated CEO Peter Moyo. At a briefing on Friday, Manuel said Old Mutual will withdraw legal action against Moyo after the court ruled that he be temporarily reinstated. However Manuel said Moyo is not an employee at Old Mutual, adding that he will not resume his CEO status until Old Mutual’s appeal process is concluded. Eric Mabuza, the lawyer representing Moyo says he will consult Moyo on the next legal steps.

Read: Manuel: Moyo can come for coffee, but not to work

4. Ramaphosa dispatches envoys to African nations 

In a bid to calm tensions between SA and other African nations, following weeks of high xenophobic violence, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent three officials to seven African nations. Ramaphosa hopes to engage his African counterparts on how South Africa’s government is dealing with the violence against foreign nationals. Ramaphosa dispatched former minister Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsely Mmabolo and Khula Mbatha to Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Read: Ramaphosa dispatches envoys to African nations over xenophobia

5. Rand update and the week ahead

South Africa’s business confidence fell to its lowest level since April 1985, data shows. This was mainly due to weak economic growth, rising debt and the high unemployment rate.

This week, the South African Reserve Bank will again review interest rates. Economists are predicting the Monetary Policy Committee will keep interest rates on hold, as the Moody’s credit review looms.

August inflation data and July retail sales data is also due this week. Globally, tensions between the US and China cooled after China said it will exclude several US agricultural products from additional tariffs including soybeans and pork. This gave some breathing space to other emerging markets. On Monday, the rand was at R14.65 to the dollar at 9:16.


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Discovery and other medical aids go up by 10% like clock work every year, instead of looking at the frankly impossible NHI plan, it would be great if gov would put in a proper regulator for health costs, it’s like the wild west. Just charge whatever you want, it’s not like you can shop around.

End of comments.





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