Business Day Spotlight

Behind the biggest business stories of the week - taking you inside key events, the movements at the top and their effects at the bottom.

An Arena Holdings Production. Production.

Keywords: BDSpotlight, industry, markets, South Africa, news and views, money, success, entrepreneur, corporation, podcast

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03
APR

Economic news of the week: Was Moody's in a mood or did SA have it coming?

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at the impact and effects of the recent Moody’s downgrade on the SA economy.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined on the line by Jacques Nel, head of Africa Macroeconomic research at NKC African Economics to discuss the impact of the downgrade and ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

This past week, international ratings agency, Moody’s issued a country rating for SA. After being the only ratings institution still holding the country above investment grade, Moody’s finally downgraded SA’s profile given issues like the budget deficit and problems with state-owned enterprises.

Even with the effects of corona doing much to dampen economic activity in the country, Nel says the downgrade by Moody’s had been expected.

The discussion also looks at the impact of global events on the Rand, outlook for economic growth, the recent US jobs report, and the role that policymakers have to play to get the country on the path to growth.
01
APR

SA is 'angry' amid lockdown and downgrade woes

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at how South Africans are feeling about the economy given the Covid-19 crisis and recent Moody’s downgrade.`

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined on the line by Professor Talita Greyling, an economist at University of Johannesburg, specialising in wellbeing economics to discuss their ongoing study around how people are feeling about the economy.

New research by Greying and their partners shows that South Africans are angry after the first weekend of the national lockdown.

The discussion starts with an explanation of wellbeing economics. Greyling says hard economic data like GDP growth and inflation projects don’t often tell the full story of how people in a country are feeling. This is the gap they are trying to fill.

Professor Greyling also explains how they go about collecting data, the rationale for doing this research, how it can be used discern trends and plans to expand their data pool.
27
MAR

Economic new of the week: can SA's economy rebound?

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at the possibility of the SA economy rebounding after the severe impact of Covid-19, in our economic news of the week.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined on the line by Johann Els, chief economist at Old Mutual Investment Group to discuss the issues.

Els says how long the current crisis will this last remains to be seen as even the medical fraternity is still trying to understand much about the disease. The full cost of the outbreak can only be accounted for when the threat is over and life returns to normal across the world.

Despite all the chaos caused by Covid-19, he does acknowledge that the government has taken strong decisive action in dealing with the crisis.

Els says a downgrade by Moody’s is likely to happen. His current outlook for local economic growth is at -2%.
26
MAR

LOCKDOWN | With the right tools, working remotely can make a business

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at the impact of remote working and potential closures on small businesses, due to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined on the line by Lauren du Plooy, director at accounting software specialist firm, Rae & Associates and Intuit QuickBooks trainer.

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a general business slowdown, as well as more people working and staying at home in an age of social distancing.

Du Plooy manages a small team that has been operating remotely for the last four years, relying on tech and cloud applications to run the business and shares her tips for working effectively in such situations. She speaks about how they have gone about equipping their own business and clients for remote working.
20
MAR

Economic news of the week: local and global markets reflect panic

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at the economic news of the week and the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on global and local markets.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined on the line by Dr. Adrian Saville, chief executive at Cannon Asset Managers and professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, to talk through the issues.

Saville begins by saying policy makers around the world have not done enough to ease the pressure brought on by the outbreak. Even as central banks, as in US, have cut interest rates down to nothing, this might not be enough he says. Fiscal stimulus or injecting money into economies is what governments should be doing he explains, though in some places like SA, the state may not have the resources to do so.

The discussion ends with a focus on the local economy. Saville says the impact on businesses and certain sectors like the travel and hospitality has been devastating.
19
MAR

How social distancing is changing e-commerce

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in more people turning to online shopping to avoid physical shops. In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we look at online shopping and e-commerce trends.
Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Derek Cikes, commercial director at fintech company, Payflex to talk about the issues.

Cikes starts off by saying the coronavirus has definitely had an impact on online shopping, as more people are forced to stay and home, avoiding physical stores. He says since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the travel ban on Sunday, there’s been a marked increase in people shopping for groceries in particular online.

With only 2% of retail business happening online in SA, compared to about 10% in more developed countries, Cikes says brick and mortar stores are not going away anytime soon.
13
MAR

Economic news of the week: SA's data price revolution

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we’re taking a look at what Vodacom’s decision to reduce data prices means for the local mobile industry and consumers.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Ofentse Dazela, director of pricing research at information communication technology research firm, Africa Analysis to discuss the price cuts.

Earlier this week, Vodacom said it will cut its prices for mobile internet connectivity after the Competition Commission said in December operators should slash costs to consumers by up to 50% by March or face prosecution.

Dazela says the announcement is a good thing for the prepaid mobile data market as it has not seen any meaningful price revisions since 2011.
11
MAR

Covid-19 — the responsibilities and rights at work

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we take at look at the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in the workplace as Covid-19 has changed the way people work.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Lizle Louw, an attorney from law firm Webber Wentzel, who specializes in employment law, to unpack the issues.

Louw says Covid-19 has introduced much complexity into the workplace in recent weeks especially around the treatment of leave, pay for quarantined workers, travel policies and health checks.

Given how new the virus is and how the threat has continued to evolve globally, Louw says they’ve been advising clients around these issues according to established local legislation such as the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
06
MAR

Economic news of the week: Recession & COVID19

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight we look at what a recession means for SA, together with how the coronavirus has continued to affect global markets.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Sifiso Skenjana, chief economist and thought leadership executive at IQ Business.

Skenjana starts off by explaining what a recession is, how it affects the country, both internally and externally.

With the first case of coronavirus in SA being confirmed earlier this week by the department of health, the discussion then moves on to how the disease continues to weigh on local and global markets.
04
MAR

Tech helps local students enter top international universities

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we look at how technology is being used in education to help local students enter top international universities such as Harvard in the US or Cambridge in the UK.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined in studio by Jamie Beaton and Rebecca Pretorius from Crimson Education, an online platform helping students to gain admission into some of the top institutions of higher learning around the world.

Founded in 2013, Crimson has so far managed to raise $67m (about R1.04bn) in capital.

Using technology, Beaton says their platform allows learners to determine their eligibility for top international schools by inputting their academic credentials and statistics. This data is used to advise people on how to best place themselves for international admission, assisting with classes and academic guidance.

Beaton and Pretorius also discuss popular study destinations around the world, how well SA’s education system prepares students for international institutions, efforts to aid students with funding and the benefits of attending a top school.
28
FEB

Economic news of the week: will the budget be enough to save Eskom? 

With the national Budget speech for the year firmly in the rear-view mirror, we look back at the tax and energy issues raised by finance minister Tito Mboweni in this edition of the Business Day Spotlight.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Neil Cornelius, MD of the global consulting firm Berkeley Research Group, and Reabetswe Moloi, an attorney from Tax Consulting SA, for this budget review discussion.Moloi starts off the show giving a wrap of the tax matters raised in the budget, such as no increase  in major taxes and selective excise duties. She says the minister probably made the best decision to not increase personal taxes, given how pressured South Africans already are.

Cornelius, who joins us on the line from London, summarises the energy-related parts of the budget, highlighting the uphill funding battle that government faces in trying to clear Eskom’s debts, while ensuring the power utility’s sustainability moving forward. Much of the discussion centres on taxpayer money being use to bail out ailing state-owned enterprises. 
25
FEB

COSATU - Pre-budget public sector wage bill concerns remain primary for labour

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, the public sector wage bill is in focus as finance minister Tito Mboweni is set to give his national budget speech for the year on Wednesday 26 February.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Matthew Parks, parliamentary co-ordinator for the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) to discuss some of the options available to Treasury in its efforts to cut costs.

With Minister Mboweni expected to cut as much as R150bn in spending over the next three years, a number of economists have flagged the public sector wage bill as one of the few things that the government can address to achieve these savings.

Instead of cutting jobs, Cosatu says there are other avenues that can explored such as greater control of wasteful spending and corruption, and running the SA Revenue Service more effectively.

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