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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 14 February 9 am

Good morning,

In this bulletin:

# Former Finance minister Des van Rooyen is going to challenge the findings of the state capture report
# Business Leadership SA has welcomed the appointment of a team to deal with red-tape
# And, the World Health Organisation remains concerned about rich countries hogging vaccines

# Former Finance minister, Des van Rooyen, has denied claims made against him in the state capture commission report. The report states that it was clear that when Van Rooyen was appointed Finance minister in 2015 by former president Jacob Zuma, he had the approval of the Gupta family. The report also states that he was a frequent visitor at the Gupta’s Saxonwold residence. Van Rooyen told Newzroom Afrika that he will challenge the report’s findings against him:

Play sound: ENG RooyenOnStateCapture

# Business Leadership South Africa CEO, Busi Mavuso, says the appointment of former Exxaro CEO, Sipho Nkosi, to lead a team in the Presidency tasked with identifying and removing red tape is encouraging. President Cyril Ramaphosa during the state of the nation address last week said the team will identify priority reforms including mechanisms to ensure government departments pay suppliers within the required 30 days. Mavuso says Nkosi has exactly the right kind of experience, the perspective of someone who has fought to build a business, with a close-up view of how harmful red tape can be.

# Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine would be felt in the near term in South Africa through the global agriculture commodity prices channel. This is according to Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo. Russia is the 17th largest agricultural products supplier to South Africa, and Ukraine is the 44th. The main products the country sends to the two countries are citrus, nuts, vegetables, and tobacco. Sihlobo says overall, every agricultural and agribusiness role player needs to keep an eye on developments between Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea region.

# World Health Organisation’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, says richer countries hogging Covid-19 vaccines has led to variants. Just 0.4-percent of the 4.7-billion Covid-19 tests administered globally during the pandemic have been used in low-income countries. Meanwhile, only ten-percent of people in those nations have received at least one vaccine dose. Swaminathan told Bloomberg the vast inequity in vaccine distribution is not only costing lives but hurting economies:

Play sound: ENG SwaminathanOnVaccines

# American Football: The LA Rams held their nerve to claim a late 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and win the Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in California. Cooper Kupp was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, after scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner with one-minute-and-25-seconds on the clock left. He also won the Offensive Player of the Year award last week. This is the Rams’ second Super Bowl championship and the first title in Los Angeles since 1951.

# And the financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-23-cents and the euro at 17-rand-29-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-63-cents and Bitcoin trades at 41-thousand-955-dollar-1-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-853-dollars-27-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 95-dollars-60-cents a barrel.

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