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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Parliament approves minimum wage bill, Star reverts to Pepkor, Spar results, VAT panel gets an extension, Vukile Property Fund results.

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1.Parliament gives minimum wage bill a thumbs up 

After a month’s delay, parliament finally approves the national minimum wage bill, which will see workers receive R3 500 a month. The bill was approved on Tuesday, by an “overwhelming majority”, Reuters reported. The bill aims to address financial inequality in South Africa, and will become law once signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa,.

2. Star changes name to Pepkor

In an attempt to restore its credibility and shed the stain of Steinhoff, Steinhoff Africa Retailer (Star) will ask shareholders for permission to change its name from Star back to Pepkor (as it was previously known). Star CEO, Leon Lourens says trading at ground level will remain the same, and former CEO Pieter Erasmus will return as a non-executive director in October, Moneyweb reported.

3. Spar reports 14% Heps increase

South African retailer Spar reported a 5.3% increase in revenue to R50 940 million for the six months ended March 31 2018. The group’s turnover also increased 5.0% to R50 026 million. Headline earnings per share increased by 13.8% to 541.2 cents per share, while diluted headline earnings per share increased by 14.1% to 538.5 cents. The group declared a dividend of 270.0 cents per share, up 12.5%.

4. Zero-rated VAT items still under review

National Treasury has allocated an additional month to the independent panel which will be reviewing items in the VAT zero-rated list, saying that the tight deadlines are not sufficient for the panel to complete its analysis. Additionally, Treasury amended certain terms of reference, by allowing the panel more flexibility in its proposals and decision making, which may even alter the fiscal framework for 2019/2020 financial year, Moneyweb reported. The report is due on July 31.

5. Vukile Property fund results

The net profit of Vukile Property Fund, as reported for the financial year ended March 31 2018 increased by 17% to R1.31 billion. The group also reported a dividend per share growth of 7.7% to 168.82 cents per share. According to the results, the group’s investments located in South Africa, Namibia and Spain are valued at R19.1 billion at year-end, with significant progress in the Spain strategy. Spanish properties are valued at R4.5 billion. 

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