| Top 5 on Fin24: Jannie Mouton opens up about Dementia diagnosis, Gordhan to get tough on SOEs

Cape Town –  A roundup of Wednesday‘s top economic and finance reads on Fin24.

PSG founder diagnosed with dementia

Jannie Mouton, founder of investment holding company PSG, announced on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with an early form of dementia, which is usually a progressive mental deterioration, involving functions such as memory learning and problem solving.

He made the announcement to “colleagues, shareholders and friends” in a note to shareholders issued by PSG.

In 2010, Mouton became the non-executive chair of PSG Group and have also over the last couple of years resigned from most of the underlying company boards.


Gordhan to tighten screws on state-owned enterprises

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament on Wednesday that his department would hold parastatals on a much shorter leash as they recover from what he called “the phenomenon of state capture”.

Captains of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises would have to report to the department on key performance areas and operations on a fortnightly basis, instead of just quarterly, Gordhan said.

The minister said the Department of Public Enterprises was in the process of investigating the legal possibilities of a “shareholder step-in” clause, so the department could intervene in matters where an entity’s board was shown to have no capacity to function in its entity’s best interests.

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Illegal tobacco industry a threat to SA jobs

The legal tobacco industry will be gone in two years unless the South African Revenue Service (SARS) fulfills its mandate to clamp down on illicit financial flows, said an industry body.

The Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday was briefed by several bodies on illicit financial flows in the tobacco industry. Scof chairperson Yunus Carrim said that Parliament’s main concern is the revenue lost that should go to SARS and wanted to know what steps were being taken to curb illicit trade.

Among the bodies which made presentations was the Tobacco Institute of South Africa, represented by chairperson Francois van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe highlighted the economic contribution of the legal industry to the South African economy. The industry stimulated economy-wide production amounting to more than R54.3bn in 2014, and supported more than 108 000 jobs in South Africa. This contributed a combined R22.4bn in government tax revenue and R23bn to GDP.

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SA at risk of load shedding – energy expert

The possibility of load shedding by Eskom in South Africa this winter is larger than the Day Zero water crisis that engulfed Cape Town until last month, independent energy expert Ted Blom told Fin24 on Wednesday.

Eskom, however, told Parliament in April that South Africa‘s electricity grid is “stable” as the country heads into the winter months when electricity usage rises.

Blom said Cape Town‘s Day Zero was avoided by people starting to save water ahead of time. Eskom, on the other hand, only sent out tenders for emergency coal supplies last week after permission was obtained from National Treasury.

Although Eskom‘s new board is trying to follow compliance in the process, Blom claims the power utility‘s management should have foreseen six months ago already that there would be a problem with enough coal supplies for the winter electricity spike.

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SA economy recovering?


Local economic data released today, particularly the beat estimates. The April number jumped to 50.9, which was better than the forecast 48.0 and higher than the prior recording of 46.9. Year-on-year numbers for also surprised to the upside to come in at 3.6%, which was higher than the estimated 2.0%.

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