Five things making headlines in South Africa today

The Leonardo is almost complete, cement imports soar, Tshwane still losing millions a day and more.
Sandton will soon be the home to Africa's tallest building, The Leonardo, set for completion in November. Image: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Africa’s tallest building is almost complete 

Africa’s tallest building, located in the heart of Sandton, is on its way to completion. The R3 billion, 234m skyscraper will open in November and, according to Moneyweb, will feature a viewing deck and Sky Bar atop the building, as well as a spa, pool deck, gym and some retail outlets.

Read: Sandton skyscraper: More exciting plans for the R3bn Leonardo

2. Cement imports soar

Cement volumes imported into South Africa soared by 293% year-on-year in July. Cement imports increased significantly despite a depressed construction and building environment in the country. Moneyweb is reporting that South Africa’s major cement producers, in an initiative driven by The Concrete Institute (TCI), last month applied to the International Trade Administration Commission of SA (Itac) for what they refer to as “safeguard action” against cheap cement imports.

Read: Imported cement volumes up a staggering 293%

3. City of Tshwane (still) losing millions a day 

The City of Tshwane is losing nearly R16 million a day as a result of the botched termination of the smart electricity metering contract with PEU Capital Partners. Moneyweb is reporting that since the contract came to an end Tshwane has lost about a billion rand in revenue during the court-mandated four-month transition period.

The Pretoria High Court previously declared the city’s contract with PEU unconstitutional and invalid and set it aside.

Read: Tshwane losing R16m a day during botched PEU exit

Tshwane removes first PEU meters

4. Brait looking to reduce its debt

Investment company Brait issued a statement on Monday, informing shareholders of the company’s processes to reduce debt on its balance sheet, as part of a strategy seeking to maximise shareholder value. Steps taken to reduce debt include refinancing existing debt, potential equity-raising initiatives and recapitalisation of the group. In the statement, Brait says it has engaged with Titan, which is represented by billionaire investor Christo Wiese. Titan is showing support for Brait’s processes, adding that it will look into investing in a ‘quality of portfolio assets’.

Read the full statement here.

5. Rand update  

The rand’s movements last week mostly hinged on the inflation rate and the Sarb’s interest rate announcement, which was kept unchanged at 6.5%. Renewed concerns about negotiations between the US and China on trade also negatively affected the local currency.

In the week ahead, South Africa’s PPI figures for August are expected.

The rand on Monday was at R14.89 to the dollar at 9:13.

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