Telkom Mobile has been suffering a "system failure" over the past 24 hours.
Its four million South African subscribers have been struggling to connect. 
Telkom’s website and app have also been down since Thursday afternoon. 
Telkom Mobile - which has over four million cellular users in South Africa - is experiencing a countrywide “system failure”, the company said on Friday morning.
 
Users have reported extremely poor network quality, the sudden loss of airtime and data, and problems with recharging airtime over the past 24 hours. Some are demanding free data to be compensated for their inconvenience. 
 
Telkom’s website and app have also been down since Thursday afternoon. 
 
“Our team is still attending to the service issue with urgency. We'll keep you updated until this issue is resolved,” Telkom tweeted on Friday. 
 
“Please be patient as the team works on resolving the issue. We will keep you updated with further information.” 
 
On social media, users expressed outrage with the service disruption, demanding the cellular service give free data to apologise. 
 
MTN recently gave away clients R100 worth of airtime, and 100MB data for free, after its service was disrupted by a “technical glitch”.
 
 
Source: News24
A small business incubation programme that is supported by by Rand Merchant Investment Holdings is looking for entrepreneurs who aim to disrupt financial services.
 
A total of 16 businesses will be selected to pitch for eight places on the AlphaCode Incubate programme of twelve months. The eight businesses will each get R1 million in grant funding as well as R1 million worth of support including mentorship,  exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services as well as access to RMI’s networks.
 
The businesses must be no older than two years and must be 51% black owned and managed.
 
The competition is open to businesses across the financial spectrum including payments, insurance, savings and investments, advisory, data analytics and blockchain.
 
"We want to help take courageous entrepreneurs with seriously disruptive financial services business models to the next level," says AlphaCode head, Dominique Collett.
 
In partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, AlphaCode Incubate has disbursed R13 million to 15 black-owned businesses over the last three years
 
Entries can be done on the competition website. The first round of applications closes on August 31.
 
 
News24
The President of Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN), Amb. Gani Lawal, has said that Nigerian cannot severe diplomatic ties with South Africa over xenophobic attacks.
 
Dr Lawal, a former Nigeria Deputy Principal Representative in Algeria, said this in an interview News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
 
NAN reports that killing of Nigerians in South Africa had been on the increase in recent times.
 
A report had stated that no fewer than 117 Nigerians were extra-judicially killed in South Africa between 2013 and 2018 for one flimsy reason or the other.
 
According to Lawal, we cannot because of xenophobic attacks break diplomatic relations with South Africa because the issue is not between government and government.
 
”We will continue to work with South Africa to make sure that offenders are apprehended and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others,” he said.
 
The former director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the issue of killings in South Africa was not between government and government but among the people on the streets.
 
“However, South African government also has the responsibility to protect our people and also to advise them on where to go and not to go.
 
“We have to be able to find a ground to ensure that the attack doesn’t happen by establishing rules of engagement,” he said.
 
The former director said that the present administration had been doing a lot to strengthen the Nigerian foreign policy.
 
He said the association was ready to assist the government in ensuring that the government achieves its goal on foreign policy and strengthen ties with other countries.
 
According to him, what we do is to work behind the scene by doing research using our experience to advise the government.
 
He said that the formation of AFRPN was to fill a vacuum in the country in terms of providing credible advice to the government on foreign relations.
 
He added that the association would be formally inaugurated on Tuesday, July 31, by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II
 
Lawal said the event, would also feature inaugural lecture titled, “The New International System: A Diplomat’s Nightmare” to be delivered by Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, former Foreign Affairs Minister.
 
He said the association’s “Peer-Review Journal” would be launched by business moguls Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Abdulsamad Ishyaku Rabiu, Femi Otedola, and Mr Tunde Folawiyo.
 
Lawal said the association was founded to serve as a think-tank to the Federal Government and other stakeholders on foreign relations matters.
 
“The AFRPN was established as a legal body to engage in scholarly research, coupled with our experience to positively impact on the foreign policy process and practice of our country through an interactive process drawing both from the diplomats and the academia,” he said.
 
He said when inaugurated the association would be able to advise the government on foreign policy.
 
According to him, most of the pieces of advice that people often give are based on guess work and that is why we are coming on board to offer help to the government based on experience and research.
 
“So we feel that those who have experience in foreign relations can assist in filling necessary vacuums.
 
“Those of us who have gone all over the world should be able to put our heads together to advise the government on foreign issues.
 
“Also, government can also look at our ways when there are issues to be dealt with and we also are ready to give government the alternative way of doing things,” he said.
 
 
Source: NAN
The Competition Commission believes British American Tobacco's (BAT) plan to buy e-cigarette company Twisp would lead to higher vaping prices in South Africa.
BAT is already a global e-cigarette player and could've easily entered the South African market without buying a competitor, it said.
BAT in January signed an agreement to acquire Twisp. 
Cigarette giant British American Tobacco's (BAT) planned acquisition of big South African e-cigarette maker Twisp would lead to higher vaping prices in South Africa, the Competition Commission says.
 
BAT, South Africa’s largest cigarette distributor, signed an agreement to acquire Twisp in January. Twisp is believed to be the biggest distributor of vaping products in SA. 
 
The deal is subject to approval from the South African Competition Tribunal. 
 
“The merger is likely to result in unilateral effects which may manifest in the form of an increase in prices of e-cigarettes in future or a reduction in the rate of price reductions that could potentially occur with BAT’s entry,” the Competition Commission said in a statement about the proposal.
 
“[The merger can also lead to] a reduction in the quality or rate of innovation of e-cigarette products offered post-merger.” 
 
The commission, mandated to promote and maintain competition in South Africa, said BAT is prominent in the e-cigarette market internationally and could easily have entered the South African market – without buying a competitor.
 
“It would have been in a position to compete effectively against Twisp, the largest and dominant e-cigarette supplier in the country.” 
 
“The Commission recommends that the proposed transaction be prohibited.” 
 
When BAT first announced the deal, the multinational said Twisp would help ensure the sustainability of the company in South Africa. 
 
“We already have a large footprint elsewhere in the world. We are committed to the growth of our next generation products business and it was only natural that we extend our offering in SA with a range that is familiar to this market,” BAT South Africa CEO Soraya Benchikh said at the time. 
 
"We are excited about acquiring a leading vapour brand and the opportunities it presents.” 
 
 
Source: The Business Insider
Its average price for a megabyte of data declined 17.1% in the months of April, May, and June, Vodacom reported in quarterly results Tuesday morning – and it is very happy with that steep decline.
 
The drop was largely because of its push to sell more personalised data bundles on its "Just 4 You" platform, the company said, and it continues to push such bundles aggressively.
 
"Just 4 You" uses big data and machine learning to offer customers bundles tailored around their behaviour.
 
As its data became cheaper, its customers bought 32.2% more data bundles, Vodacom said, which ultimately saw its data revenues increase by nearly 10%, the big drop in price notwithstanding.
 
Vodacom reported much the same effect in its last full year of earnings: lower bundle prices, more bundles sold, and higher revenue.
 
And it expects that trend to continue, despite the new data roll-over rules from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) that its peers are still fighting in court.
 
Icasa's End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations on out-of-bundle data usage should have "a modest impact on data revenue growth" Vodacom said.
 
"We expect this to be mitigated in the short term by continued uptake of data bundles and strong elasticity in demand for these services."
 
By Vodacom's latest count it has some 43 million customers in South Africa, but only a little under 20.5 million of those use any data of any kind. Its numbers are roughly the same elsewhere in Africa as a whole: half its active customers do not yet pay for data.
 
The Icasa regulations require cellphone companies to allow customers to roll over unused data before it expires, or to transfer it to someone else. The rules also forbid companies from automatically defaulting customers to out-of-bundle data use (typically hugely more expensive than in-bundle data) once a bundle is depleted.
 
The implementation of the rules were suspended after Cell C, with support from MTN, went to court to challenge them. 
 
 
 
Source: Business Insider
 
 

The impact of the escalating global trade war is likely to shave 0.1% off South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) baseline forecast in 2019 and 0.2% in 2020, according to Fitch Ratings' June 2018 "Global Economic Outlook" baseline forecast.

Fitch forecast that the escalation in the trade war is likely to reduce the world GDP by 0.4% in 2019 and by 0.3% in 2020.

"An escalation of global trade tensions that results in new tariffs on $2trn in global trade flows would reduce world growth by 0.4% in 2019, to 2.8% from 3.2%," the Fitch Ratings said in a statement on Wednesday.

The US, Canada and Mexico would be the most affected countries. Fitch expects China would be less severely impacted, with GDP growth around 0.3% below the baseline forecast. Fitch points out that China would only be affected directly by US protectionist measures, whereas the US would be imposing tariffs on a large proportion of its imports, while being hit simultaneously by retaliatory measures from four countries or trading blocs.

"The imposition of further tariff measures currently being considered by the US administration and commensurate retaliatory tariffs on US goods by the EU, China, Canada and Mexico would mark a significant escalation from tariff measures imposed to date," according to Fitch.

"The tariffs would initially feed through to higher import prices, raising firms' costs and reducing real wages. Business confidence and equity prices would also be dampened, further weighing on business investment and reducing consumption through a wealth effect."

Export competitiveness in the countries subject to tariffs would decline, resulting in lower export volumes. The negative growth effects would be magnified by trade multipliers and feed through to other trading partners not directly targeted by the tariffs. Import substitution would offset some of the growth shock in the countries imposing import tariffs.

Fitch forecasts that most countries not directly involved in the trade war would see their GDP falling below baseline, though generally at a much lower scale.

Net commodity exporters would be more severely hit, as slower world growth would push oil and hard commodity prices down. On the other hand, for some net commodity importers, the benefits from lower hard commodity prices would more than offset the impact of lower world growth.

 

Source: News25

China would invest 14.7 billion dollars in South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday after talks between the two countries, news that sent the rand one percent firmer.
 
Speaking at the same event, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the world’s second-biggest economy would take active measures to expand imports from South Africa to support development in Africa’s most industrialised economy.
 
Xi arrived South Africa on Monday night for a State visit ahead of the much anticipated 10th BRICS Summit in Sandton.
 
This is Xi’s third visit to South Africa, having visited the country for the 2013 BRICS Summit, and the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Co-operation. Xi made State visits to Senegal and Rwanda before arriving in South Africa.
 
The two presidents engaged in bilateral talks and evaluated progress achieved by the two countries on the Strategic Programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified in 2015.
 
Those areas include the Alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process; Enhancement of co-operation in Special Economic Zones; Enhancement of marine co-operation; Infrastructure development; Human resources co-operation; as well as Financial co-operation.
 
China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for nine years in a row, and South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa.
 
Two-way trade has reached a historic 39billion dollars, 20 times the volume of that at the onset of official diplomatic relations. Direct Chinese investment in the South African economy has also grown eight fold, reaching 10 billion dollars.
 
While there is a trade imbalance between China and South Africa, both countries have implemented mechanisms to address these discrepancies.
 
 
Source: PMnewsNigeria
Shoprite's weak sales could indicate that Pick n Pay may be taking market share, an analyst believes. 
Shoprite posted turnover growth of only 3.3%, to R145.6 billion, on Wednesday morning.
Its share price was slaughtered on Wednesday.
Shoprite’s weak sales performance could indicate that the long-suffering Pick n Pay may be taking some of its market share, an analyst said on Wednesday.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, Shoprite reported a trading update for the year to end-June. Turnover rose only 3.3%, to R145.6 billion.
 
Gryphon research analyst and portfolio manager Casparus Treurnicht said the update shows that the past six months were clearly horrible for Shoprite.
 
The group previously reported turnover of 7.4% for the first half of the year, which means that turnover must have lost considerable momentum over the last six months.
 
By comparison, Pick n Pay’s South African sales grew by 8.0% in the three months to end-February. 
 
After bleeding customers in recent years, Pick n Pay has reduced its labour force by a tenth and streamlined operations. It has also invested in logistics and new stores, and within six months, over R1 billion had been extended to new Pick n Pay credit card holders. And in the past year, Pick n Pay invested R500 million in price cuts to become more competitive. 
 
"I believe Shoprite took some strain due to Pick and Pay getting more competitive but just as important, Shoprite suffering from a much weaker than expected economy," says Treurnicht. 
 
The trading environment is extremely tough, as is evident from Statistics SA latest retail sales number, also released on Wednesday: retail sales rose only 1.9% in the year to May.
 
Shoprite also faced hard times in some of its African markets. Its latest trading update had to account for the effect of hyperinflation in Angola. 
 
By late afternoon, Shoprite’s share price was down more than 5% to R208.89, though it recovered slightly to above R211. Treurnicht thinks that the share, which is still trading at a price-earnings ratio of more than 20 times, is still expensive.
 
“I think we’ll see the retail sector sell off in general but also Pick n Pay starting to outperform Shoprite. Pick n Pay grew sales between 5% and 5.5% consistently over each half for the last two years. It seems [Pick n Pay CEO Richard] Brasher has a clearly-defined strategy.”
 
 
Credit: Fin24
It would take Facebook just 18 minutes to pay off the £500,000 (almost R9 million) fine proposed as a punishment by the UK's data watchdog for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
 
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has suggested fining Facebook the maximum penalty for the way it mishandled user data and failing to safeguard people's information.
 
But the company makes so much money per minute from advertising that the penalty is barely a drop in the ocean.
 
Facebook made $4.8 billion (R64 billion) in net profit in the first three months of 2018, according to its own figures.
 
According to Business Insider's calculations, that means Facebook makes around $37,037 (Just shy of R500,000) a minute, which means it would take just less than 18 minutes to pay the fine.
 
Here is the calculation:
Q1 2018 (January, February and March) had 90 days.
Each day has 1,440 minutes (24 x 60).
Therefore in Q1 2018 there were 1,440 x 90 minutes, which equals 129,600.
$4.8 billion divided by 129,600 equals $37,037.04 profit per minute.
As of this morning, £500,000 is worth $663,575.
$663,575 divided by $37,037.04 per minute equals 17.91 minutes, or 17 minutes, 55 seconds.
 
Historically, the ICO hasn't had much power to issue a robust fine to companies which mishandle people's information. The £500,000 figure was the maximum penalty under the UK's data protection laws.
 
But now Europe brought in much stricter privacy laws in May, the GDPR. Importantly, these laws give regulators like the ICO much sharper teeth when it comes to issuing fines, with a maximum fine of €20 million (R316 million) or 4% of a company's global turnover.
 
Facebook made around $40 billion in revenue in 2017, meaning its maximum fine under the new laws would be $1.6 billion.
 
Facebook still has a chance to respond to the ICO before the watchdog makes its final decision. The company is expected to make its case later this month.
 
Source: Business Insider

Absa unveiled its new look on Wednesday, including a colour scheme that claims a wider spectrum of red. The bank has effectively been chained to the staid Barclays brand for more than a decade – so when Barclays ditched it, it decided to make deep changes.

Absa is even changing the voice that answers those who phone into its call centres, on top of 27,000 different forms and a total of some 500,000 "artefacts". Absa on Wednesday morning finally showed the world the new logo it has been so secretive about (although that leaked) and the colour scheme it will now be using (though that too leaked).

But in coming months customers will find changes to the massive bank's identity will run far deeper than that, down to the way it answers the phone.

Absa has recorded more than 10,000 individual items for the interactive voice systems used in its various call centres, says group marketing head David Wingfield.

Watch: A secret rehearsal of Africa's first ‘drone fireworks’ for Absa's big reveal today
"We are going for a friendlier tone, with slightly younger voices and different intonation," he tells Business Insider South Africa.

Those recordings are on top of the 27,000 different forms Absa uses that will now have to be replaced – and the 345,000 branded pens, notepads, lanyards and pieces of clothing it had made to introduce the new look.

In total Absa will be replacing some 500,000 different "artefacts", says Wingfield, ranging from TV ads to the signs used inside branches.

Those changes will take some 10 months to complete, with three branches and 15 ATMs scheduled to be rebranded per day.

Using friendlier, younger voices alongside a more "digital" logo is all part of moving away from Absa's past, says Wingfield, which has kept its brand shackled for more than a decade.

British bank Barclays first moved in on Absa a decade ago, and it has not changed its look and feel since.

After Barclays dumped Absa in a shakeup of its global approach, the local bank decided it needed to leapfrog all the changes that had come to the world – and marketing – since then.

"The old Absa and Barclays were much more austere and serious," says Wingfield. "The world now is younger, digital. That's what we're trying to capture."

Along the way, Absa expanded its colour range around the "passion red" of its logo. Using everything from pink to orange "makes us more playful," says Wingfield, but it is also just sensible. Every cell phone and computer screen will display a slightly different shade of red anyway; trying to keep to a pure brand colour is a lost cause.

So Absa's logo button will always be either "passion red" on white, or white on red, but there will be many other warm hues in its branches and in some of its ads.

Including all the forms and all the signs used in some 620 branches scattered throughout the country.

With that kind of scale and spread there will be "something of a lag" until each instance of the Absa brand is updated, says Wingfield.

 

Source: The Insider

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