BULLETIN 31 January 4 pm
Good afternoon. I am……..
In this bulletin:
# OUTA says government does not take corruption eradication seriously
# AfriForum warns that the Upstream Petroleum Bill threatens investor confidence
# And cricket: The Proteas are well prepared and ready to compete in New Zealand
# The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse is concerned about the country’s fight against corruption after it slumped to a 12-year low, according to Transparency International’s World Corruption Perception Index. The report reveals South Africa is among 23 nations that have achieved their lowest-ever scores, categorising them as flawed democracies. OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage emphasises the detrimental impact of corruption on the economy, urging government to prioritise its eradication, especially as elections approach:
# AfriForum opposes the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, citing concerns over transparency and the unchecked powers of minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe. The organisation says the bill’s intention to allocate a 20-percent state share in petroleum rights raises corruption fears. Additionally, unlimited ministerial power to reserve areas exclusively for black investors is deemed problematic. They have submitted comments post-National Assembly approval for consideration by the National Council of Provinces. AfriForum’s Marais de Vaal warns of broader consequences, impacting investor confidence and the struggling economy.
# Retail performance shows the rich are feeling the pinch with South Africa’s affluent households not seeing their wealth keep up with inflation for a number of years now. Woolworths’ reported sales indicate challenges for upper-income consumers, with a 7.2-percent same-store sales increase overshadowed by 9.1-percent inflation, suggesting a 2-percent volume decrease. The food segment shows smaller basket sizes and excess festive stock. Fashion, beauty, and home segment sales dropped 10-percent from 2022. TFG Limited, Truworths, and Mr Price also reflect subdued trading, while vehicle sales, notably BMW, highlight a declining affluent class.
# Cricket: An understrength Proteas Test squad is ready to grab their opportunity in New Zealand, with the first of two Tests starting on Sunday. After completing a three-day practice match against a New Zealand Eleven today, the South Africans are making their way to Mount Maunganui for the opening encounter in the series. The Proteas are not given much of a chance, with eight uncapped players in the squad, but coach Shukri Conrad says they are well prepared and ready to compete:
# The financial indicators: The dollar trades at 18-rand-73-cents and the euro at 20-rand-30-cents. One British pound costs 23-rand-77-cents and Bitcoin trades at 42-thousand-627-dollars-39-cents. Gold sells at two-thousand-and-38-dollars-48-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 81-dollars-68-cents a barrel.
# And finally: Universal Music is set to pull its millions of songs from TikTok after a breakdown in talks over payments. The move will mean the social media platform would no longer have access to songs by artists including Taylor Swift, the Weeknd and Drake. Universal accused TikTok of bullying and said it wanted to pay a fraction of the rate other social media sites pay for access to its vast catalogue. TikTok says Universal is presenting a false narrative and rhetoric.
Stay tuned for more news………….