Mergers and acquisitions 2021: Uncertainties remain, but there is cause for optimism

The coronavirus crisis brought economic activity to an abrupt halt in many sectors and regions last year – and this is likely to continue in 2021 – but mergers and acquisitions were not dead in the water, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Mergers and acquisition (M&A) transactions totalled $25.7-billion in 2020 in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Refinitiv’s investment banking analysis for the region. Refinitiv is a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure. The value of announced M&A transactions was 62% less than that recorded during the previous year, when Naspers’s…

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SA’s fashion industry is not taking Covid-19 lying down

The fashion and clothing industry will overcome the myriad challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic 23 NOVEMBER 2020 – 16:34 PRECIOUS MOLOI-MOTSEPE Picture: SUPPLIED This year we helplessly watched Covid-19 bring the global economy to its knees. Governments around the world responded by implementing lockdowns to contain the rapid spread of the deadly pandemic to their populations. Unfortunately, these measures — intended to save lives — suffocated economies. By the end of 2020, the world’s economy is expected to have shrunk 7.5%, the deepest contraction since the World War 2, which…

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To thrive in a pandemic, you need to reinvent your business

The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to many debates. But if there’s one thing commentators appear to be united in, it’s the certainty that our world will be forever changed by it. We’ve all heard the phrase the ‘new normal’, and some economists have predicted that most businesses will have to fundamentally change the way they operate to be able to succeed in a post-Covid global economy. The good news is, that this is entirely possible – science tells us so. Businesses that are sufficiently agile and creative have the…

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Covid-19: Quantifying the impact of the alcohol ban on SA’s agricultural sector

  By Thulasizwe Mkhabela JOHANNESBURG – According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results”. Just because a policy intervention is intended for the greater good of society does not mean that there will be no unintended consequences. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and necessitated them, but at their actual effects at addressing the problem at hand and on…

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Restrictions in trade to contain COVID-19 have been devastating for Africa’s urban poor

Trade routes have been significantly disrupted this year in efforts to contain COVID-19. The effects of this are already showing: global growth is set to contract by 4.9% and growth in sub-Saharan Africa will contract by 3.2%. This will get worse if continued restrictions further impede trade. The World Trade Organisation has warned that at worst, global trade could collapse by a third this year, and at best, it will contract by 13%, similar to the recorded drop after the 2009 financial crisis. This has fundamental consequences – both direct and indirect –…

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How SA mining proved to be resilient in the face of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge that no one could have anticipated. It has had a wide-reaching impact on all industries across the globe, and the South African mining sector is no exception. While necessary precautions were put in place as early as possible, there’s still no telling just how much the mining industry will be affected in the long term. One thing we do know is that despite what seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel, with the easing of lockdown restrictions, we cannot…

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SA’s Perdekraal East Wind Farm celebrates commercial operations

  The 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm, outside of the Western Cape province in South Africa, commenced commercial operations on 8 October 2020. This large-utility scale wind farm is set to make an impact on South Africa’s national grid, whilst continuing to grow the social resilience of the surrounding Witzenberg communities, noted a company statement. In line with the renewable energy sector trend, which is working to meet the department of energy’s local content requirements, the wind farm achieved very high local content levels, exceeding 48%. This includes both locally…

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SA’s business dexterity on full display during Covid-19

  Continuing review of facets of the operating model to meet the new realities of doing things is necessary to assure business agility 01 OCTOBER 2020 – 18:24 SEELAN GOBALSAMY Picture: 123RF/nightunter Bringing together the best innovation, continuous improvement and considerable intellectual capital has always differentiated leaders in the chemical business. This reality has, however, been brought into clearer — and more urgent — focus as a result of the global pandemic. There are many examples of businesses that have been rewarded for their investments in research and development, both in…

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SA’s Covid hit carmakers asks government to cut taxes on new cars

  JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s car makers have asked the government to reduce taxes on new vehicle purchases as part of a proposed stimulus package for the coronavirus-hit sector, according to a presentation from an industry body seen by Reuters. The proposal, aimed at boosting local sales of new cars as rising coronavirus cases threaten demand in key export markets, was presented to the government on Monday by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), its chief executive Mike Mabasa said. NAAMSA represents global car giants like…

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How to share manufacturing network losses in the face of COVID-19

  Many large industrial groups have a global manufacturing footprint that is driven by business requirements. The functional profile of the manufacturing entities is different in each case and can range from contract manufacturers to fully fledged intellectual property owning entrepreneurs. However, one thing that multinationals have in common is that the footprint, the product programme, and the contribution to the group value chain is always the outcome of the multinational’s business strategy. Production plants will usually produce only a segment of the global product portfolio and sell their output…

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