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Everything posted by LentilSoup

  1. Now I wonder... is this a sign to run or is this a sign to buy...
  2. Not sure how practical this will be -- Will businesses actually support this?
  3. Has the suspension of Pembury been lifted?
  4. Thanks for this, I have been using it now for 2 months, I do not think I can ever go back to the SA Netflix catalogue
  5. After more than two decades in power, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) is in severe trouble. The euphoria around the appointment of the new president Cyril Ramaphosa is rapidly fading as he increasingly encounters resistance from within the party to a thorough cleansing of the state. On top of this the financial crises in key public utilities seem to be getting worse while key economic indicators like unemployment, production and inflation are rapidly deteriorating. You would think that amid all of this the prospect of the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), displacing the ANC at the next election would be getting better. But the latest polls indicate that the DA’s support has shrunk since the last election. The party’s prospects of equalling its performance at the last national poll – when it obtained 23% of the national vote – look dim. What, then, is going on? There are a whole host of reasons to point to. The first is that Ramaphosa, despite his initial post-Zuma popularity having been punctured, remains a far more impressive and weighty figure than the DA’s leader, Mmusi Maimane. Part of Maimane’s problem is that DA’s attraction to many has been its claim to represent cleaner and more efficient government. But these claims are being severely tested as it faces the dilemmas and temptations of running the three major metros it took control over after the 2016 local government elections. It gained control by forging awkward coalitions with the Economic Freedom Fighters (to whose principles it’s bitterly opposed) and other smaller parties. This has meant that its hold on power has often looked fragile, and it’s had to engage in all sorts of wheeler-dealing. Necessary, but not good for the image. Meanwhile, the party allowed its fight with its Cape Town mayor, Patricia De Lille, to drag on for far too long. And then of course there is the issue of race, which divides the party all the way to the very top. The DA was founded on principles of liberalism. Its ideological position comes with the assertion that the individual, not the group, is the primary unit of society, and that freedom and equality are realised through the freedom of the individual. That’s not sitting very well within many of its newly found black supporters. On top of this, the DA’s classic liberalism has run up against the problem of how to address racial disadvantage on an individual basis in a society where fundamental rights and material goods have been allocated by race historically. Either the DA breaches its liberal principles by accepting the need to address racial disadvantage frontally. Or, if it doesn’t, it sends out the message to black voters that it’s not really committed to addressing racial inequality. This tension played out recently when the party became embroiled in an internal spat over whether or not to support Black Economic Empowerment, an affirmative action policy. Growth or principles? Until recently the DA’s share of the vote in the country has increased with every election. That growth came at the cost of having to dilute its core liberal principles, as it sought to expand its appeal beyond its white base to black, coloured and Indian voters. In 2013 the party accepted that race should become a basis for redress. In 2015, it adopted freedom, fairness and equality of opportunity into its constitution. Subsequently Maimane has also suggested the party needs to adopt affirmative action by pushing hard for the DA to accept the need for “greater diversity” in its composition. This was a way of saying that more black people are needed in leadership positions without actually using those words. The more recent internal spat about Black Economic Empowerment also points to these tensions. Head of policy Gwen Ngwenya announced that the DA has ditched Black Economic Empowerment in favour of real empowerment from the bottom. But many among the party’s newer influx of members realise that they would never be where they are today if it was not for a policy engineered by the ANC – for all its failings. True, the DA pumps out the message that the children of a black millionaire do not deserve a special hand up from the state. However, without a clearly stated policy about how it is going to pave the way for “equality of opportunity”, it’s going to have to work hard to rid itself of its unwanted reputation of being primarily a party protective of white interests. Liberalism, conclude many black people, works for white people only. No easy way out The problem for the DA is that there is no easy way out of the dilemmas it faces. It comes with the territory of being the major party of opposition and drawing the major body of its support from a white racial minority. Its problem is that on the route to power, principle is always likely to become fudge. This points to the still greater problem that the DA has to confront (and this is the great unsayable). No opposition party in any country in southern Africa has yet managed to displace a liberation movement. This is despite the fact that the record in government of the region’s liberation movements has been dismal, and the vehicle for the rise of corrupt “party-state” elites. Look no further than Zimbabwe, where in 2008, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won a parliamentary majority before crashing into the rocks of ZANU-PF intransigence. The great question which hangs over South African politics is what the ANC would do if it really did lose its majority. How the DA resolves its dilemmas around race will dictate how it will react in such a situation, for without mass black support it would lack any chance of confronting the ANC were the latter to trash the constitution and maintain its hold on state power. Source
  6. What’s the size of the black market in tobacco and who is behind it? These questions have dogged governments, public health advocates, researchers and the tobacco industry for years. The world’s biggest tobacco companies spend millions on research to produce answers – commissioning reports which often conclude that the trade in illicit tobacco is on the rise. The big tobacco companies routinely use these findings to argue that every tobacco control policy will lead to increases in smuggling – claiming higher taxes encourage more people to buy cigarettes illegally, for example, or that plain packaging makes it easier for counterfeiters to copy big brands. Yet there are major problems with this industry-funded data. When compared with independent sources, they consistently overestimate the scale of illicit tobacco. They also frequently fail to meet the quality and transparency standards of peer-reviewed research. This raises fresh questions about an industry that has a long history of using research and obfuscation to deceive policymakers and the public – not to mention an intimate involvement with the tobacco smuggling it now claims it helps to prevent. Our research Many independent papers and reports have assessed industry-funded data on illicit tobacco. Our research, newly published in Tobacco Control, is the first to systematically review these assessments to examine the wider trend. We collected 35 assessments, 25 of which focused on research about a single country – most commonly Australia or the UK – while the remainder either focused on a region or a combination of a region and countries. Eighteen assessments were peer reviewed, while all but one of the industry-funded data sources they examined were not. In 31 of the assessments, the industry-funded estimates of the black market were higher than the reviewer’s estimates – ranging from 17% higher to well over 100%. In 29 assessments, there were criticisms of the methods used to gather the industry-funded data. For example, surveys of used cigarette packs/tobacco pouches were only collected in towns and cities, where illicit products are likely more common. Problems with the data analysis were raised in 22 assessments; while 21 had concerns about presentation, such as failures to highlight when tobacco industry products, rather than counterfeits, comprised the majority of an illicit market. There were also consistent complaints that industry-funded reports failed to clearly convey research methods, making it harder to verify findings. Our paper concludes that “the quality of industry data on illicit tobacco as a whole is below the expected standard to be considered reliable”. We add that the consistency of this “may indicate that the tobacco industry is deliberately producing misleading data” on this topic. The bigger picture In the 1990s, there was overwhelming evidence that Big Tobacco was involved in the illicit tobacco market. According to estimates at the time, one third of global annual cigarette exports could not be accounted for through legal distribution routes. We have written elsewhere about how this was a core part of companies’ business strategies. Products being sent to markets often greatly exceeded what the local population could consume alone. In some cases, distributors were even tasked specifically with smuggling tobacco company products. The reason tobacco companies would be attracted to the black market is that they get paid when they sell products to a distributor, regardless of how they are sold. As the products sold illegally are cheaper, this potentially translates into higher sales. By the end of the 2000s, the industry was subject to state investigations, court actions, fines and much negative publicity. The world’s four biggest tobacco companies – Philip Morris International (PMI), British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco – had all signed legal agreements with the EU to cooperate in stamping out illicit tobacco. In Canada, subsidiaries of Japan Tobacco and British American, and a company partly owned by PMI had all pled guilty to tobacco smuggling and were collectively fined C$1.7 billion (£1 billion). Nowadays, the tobacco industry argues it is the victim of the illicit market, emphasising the role of counterfeit cigarettes. Yet there is evidence that the industry has never stopped benefiting from the illicit market – though the major companies deny this. Research we published recently showed that around two-thirds of illicit cigarettes worldwide originate from the tobacco companies themselves, while fewer than one in ten are counterfeits. At this time, there is no sufficiently reliable data about the scale of the black market in tobacco overall. At best, however, tobacco companies are failing to control their supply chain – overproducing and oversupplying tobacco products, leading to some spilling into the illegal market. Meanwhile, evidence from leaked documents and whistleblowers suggests some tobacco companies were actively involved in the trade as recently as this decade. As part of the global effort to address tobacco smuggling, the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Illicit Trade Protocol, comes into force in September. One key measure of the protocol is a global system to track and trace tobacco products. This system will determine where a product is produced, enabling investigation of it if it ends up on the illicit market. The protocol specifies that this system must not be controlled by tobacco companies. Nevertheless, tobacco companies have assiduously promoted their own inadequate and inefficient alternative. Codentify was patented by PMI in the mid-2000s, and licensed for free to the company’s main competitors in 2010. They collectively agreed to promote this system to governments in a way that made it seem independent. This was done using various front groups and third parties. The industry’s involvement in Codentify was nevertheless exposed, so it attempted to distance itself. In 2016 the system was sold to a company called Inexto, and PMI claimed Codentify now complied with WHO requirements. Yet some staff at Inexto appear to be long-time PMI employees credited with creating Codentify, while it also seems that a complex web of shared intellectual property interests exists between these individuals and the two companies. The tobacco industry is still doing all that it can to have this system implemented as the global track and trace standard. Our new findings about industry data are further evidence that the tobacco industry is not playing a straight bat over illicit tobacco. The data enables these companies to promote conclusions about the scale and nature of the illicit trade which cannot be easily disproved. This primarily appears to serve as a platform for the industry’s lobbying and public relations strategies. Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced a US$20m (£16m) investment to create STOP – a global monitoring system to expose practices such as these. Our Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath is one of three partners funded to lead this initiative. We cannot afford to let the industry operate under the cover of darkness. This new partnership will serve as a necessary spotlight. The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, which represents British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco subsidiary Gallaher, said it would not be responding to this article. Source
  7. South Africa’s second largest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has lodged a parliamentary motion to amend laws that govern the management and ownership of the country’s central bank. Judging by the content of the South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill the EFF is clearly intent on upping the ante on economic policy ahead of the national elections in 2019. The amendments come hot on the heels of the party pushing for the expropriation of land without compensation. The EFF was formed five years ago after it split from the African National Congress, positioning itself on the left of the political spectrum. The EFF on its own won’t be able to affect the Reserve Bank change given that it only has 25 MPs in parliament. But the ANC has also thrown its weight behind the idea, adopting a resolution at its national conference last year to nationalise the South African Reserve Bank. It’s not the call for the nationalisation of the central bank, per se, that’s raising concern. It’s how its been dressed up by the EFF and the prevailing political environment. What the EFF wants to achieve is control of monetary policy by politicians. This would be dangerous for South Africa. Experiences from other countries that do this, like Zimbabwe and Venezuela, are not good. They are all economic basket cases. The fact is that a change of ownership of the South African Reserve Bank would not in and of itself be a disaster. Most central banks in the world have a share ownership structure that has the state as the majority, or only, shareholder. The South African Reserve Bank is one of only eight central banks in the world with private shareholders. But this does not equate to politicians running central banks. There are governing structures in place that ensure that central banks – even if the majority shareholder is the state – are free to implement monetary policy without political interference. Ownership isn’t the point South Africa’s central bank has come under attack over the years. Many of the attacks have come from the left – within the ruling party and its allies the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party. The unhappiness has revolved around the role of the South African Reserve Bank – particularly its focus on keeping inflation under control by sticking to an inflation target – and its perceived failure to inspire economic growth. These concerns are now being manifested in the debate about the bank’s shareholding structures. Unfortunately, the debate is informed by the mistaken view that private shareholders affect monetary policy. The corollary is that nationalisation would give the government, as the major shareholder, control over central bank policy. Both assumptions are wrong. Even though South Africa’s Reserve Bank has private shareholders, they have absolutely no say over monetary policy. Similarly, the state doesn’t dictate monetary policy in the vast majority of central banks that have governments as their major holders. What this means is that changing the shareholding of South Africa’s bank won’t change the way the bank is run. The bank main mandate – to keep inflation under control – is in fact anchored in the country’s Constitution. To change this focus would require a change in the constitution. Private shareholders of the South African Reserve Bank have very little influence over it. They play no role in the day-to-day management of the institution and also no role in the appointment of the executive management, the Governor and deputy governors. Their powers are limited to electing a minority of board members, the right to attend the ordinary general meeting of the central bank where they also approve the minutes of the previous year’s meeting and the annual report of the bank, and the appointment of the external auditors. The private shareholders are also entitled to receive a dividend of 10c per share per annum (before dividend withholding tax of 20%). But no individual shareholder, or group of shareholders, can hold more than 10 000 shares. This is to prevent any concentration of power. This means that in any given year the maximum a shareholder can be paid in dividends (after dividend withholding tax) is a paltry R800. Expropriation without compensation The EFF bill is styled as an amendment to the existing South African Reserve Bank Act. The bill aims to change the ownership of the bank through nationalisation. The state would, under this scenario, own 100% of the bank. The bill also seeks to move functions currently entrusted to private shareholders to the minister of finance. These include the appointment of some board members and the appointment of external auditors. Giving the minister the power to appoint certain board members doesn’t make sense given that the SA Reserve Bank Act currently stipulates that the President of South Africa appoints the majority of the board members (including the governor and deputy governors). Giving the finance minister the power to appoint some board members would create two classes of board members – a nonsensical state of affairs. More disconcerting is the fact that the bill makes no provision for any compensation for current shareholders. The bill simply transfers ownership from shareholders to the state. The proposed amendment goes as far as to state that the change of ownership will have no financial implications. This may be taken as confirmation that provisions on compensation were not inadvertently omitted or left to be considered later. The stated objective is clearly nationalisation without compensation. This comes on the back of efforts to push for the expropriation of land without compensation. Both moves set a dangerous principle and put South Africa on the dangerous slope of economic disintegration. Source
  8. Most people who say they want to run their own business don’t necessarily end up doing it, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing said CEO of Sygnia Asset Management Magda Wierzycka. Wierzycka was speaking at the UCT Graduate School of Business’s annual Women in Business conference held in Cape Town on Friday. “Running your own business does not necessarily mean you got to set up your own corner shop or your own company. You can think of running your own business – as running your own business within a large corporate. “If you consider the work you are doing currently as running a business and taking responsibility on that level and change your mindset, you will start to achieve even greater things,” said Wierzycka. Wierzycka went on to share lessons she learned in her career. 1. You have to follow your passion If you find that your purpose to work is just to get a paycheck at the end of the month, and if you are deadly bored, then you need to change your situation, even if it means you have to get a salary cut. Wierzycka recalled leaving her first job to join a start-up. She earned only a third of what she had been earning in her previous job. “Follow your passion. Whatever you do you must be passionate about it, you must love what you do.” She encouraged those in corporates to use the “limitless” opportunities to move into a department that speaks to their passion. “That makes going to work every day a completely different experience.” 2. Consider your purpose in life When she started Sygnia, Wierzycka said she had to consider what the business was supposed to achieve – apart from making a profit. The business had two objectives: to improve financial literacy among South Africans and to provide products at a lower cost than competitors. Having identified these objectives, every decision they made for the business was in line with these principles. 3. Innovate, never imitate “When you imitate you will only at best be second in line. There will always be someone who is bigger, who has a bigger budget, who has done it first.” She encouraged delegates to come up with “crazy, creative” ideas. “Don’t be scared to put crazy ideas on the table.” Wierzycka added that those working in corporates should use their time to learn the basics of running a business. Those basics cut across every business, whether it’s a bakery or a large corporate. The knowledge will help inform better ideas, with substance. 4. Women have to work twice as hard Wierzycka shared that as a woman she had 60 seconds to make an impression when she presented to clients. The situation was different for male counterparts. Women need to work twice as hard, this means putting in longer hours. Whining about it is not necessarily productive. She encouraged women to use their talent in multi-tasking and work ethic as that is valued in firms, especially start-ups. “It’s actually better to start a business with women than men. When you start a business you need people who multi-task. Women can do 10 different things.” 5. Use technology wisely Technology can help you, Wierzycka said. Technology can help with efficiencies and cutting costs, like those associated with marketing. 6. Speak up “Women tend to sit back in meetings and not speak up,” said Wierzycka. She encourages women to develop their self-confidence and attend public speaking classes so that they can learn how to share their ideas. “It’s easier to express your ideas if you can articulate or project it.” Public speaking and debate classes for girls are non-negotiables for the new world, she said. 7. Find a social cause “When you do anything, associate it with a good social cause,” Wierzycka said. Instead of just being driven by profit, try and do something which is a force for good, she explained. “It does not mean you must not make money. Profits are important.” 8. Hire culture not just skills “I have learnt over time skills can be taught, a cultural mindset cannot (be taught),” Wierzycka said. It’s important to hire like-minded people who fit your culture. Wierzycka said she has not been scared to fire people if she found she made a mistake in hiring them because they did not share the same vision. “I don’t apologise for it, I never have.” 9. No one has money to fund a clever idea Wierzycka said she often gets asked if there are money for start-ups, to which she said there really isn’t. Funders want to see proof of a concept. “No one will give money to anyone just because they have a clever idea. There are lots of people with clever ideas. My inbox is flooded with clever ideas. “A clever idea is not a business. A clever idea is no indication that the person behind the idea can turn it into a business that makes money.” Funders want something tangible, whether it is a client or a product. The idea of venture capitalists works in Silicon Valley, right now it is not practical in South Africa. She added that crowd-sourcing is an option, but is no guarantee of success. 10. You have to take risks “Life is about risk and reward. Few people will stand up and give you money. You will have to recognise that you have to take risks,” she said. Wierzycka said if you want a start a business while you’re working in a corporate, try to start saving money as early as possible. Source: Fin24
  9. Let's use this thread to post the best Black Friday deals for 2018 in South Africa. Black Friday 2018 will take place on Friday, 23 November. Here is a list of all the suppliers who will be participating in Black Friday 2018 Takealot - https://www.takealot.com/company-news/make-the-most-of-the-takealot-com-blue-dot-sale Makro - https://www.makro.co.za/BlackFriday IndieFin - https://www.indiefin.com/campaign/black-friday Pick n Pay - https://www.pnp.co.za/blackfriday Superbalist - https://superbalist.com/showdown Clicks - https://clicks.co.za/brands/blackfriday Checkers - https://www.checkers.co.za/black-friday.html BidorBuy - https://bidorbuy.co.za/dotw/11411/BlackFriday Game - https://www.game.co.za/game-za/en//black-friday-2018-midnight-trading-storelist Cybercellar - https://www.cybercellar.com/our-black-friday-deals Raru - https://raru.co.za/ Bidvest McCarthy - https://www.mccarthy.co.za/specials?typelist=13,13 Wootware - https://www.wootware.co.za/black-friday/ Dion Wired - https://www.dionwired.co.za/dionwired/en/All-Dionwired-Categories/BlackFridayDW/c/black-friday-dw Travelstart - https://www.travelstart.co.za/lp/promotions/black-friday Incredible Connection - https://www.incredible.co.za/black-friday Zando - https://www.zando.co.za/black-friday/deals-2018/ Barons Woodmead - https://baronswoodmead.co.za/barons-woodmead-black-friday/ Buco - https://www.buco.co.za/buco-black-friday-2018/ Edgars - https://www.edgars.co.za/black-friday Jet - https://www.jetonline.co.za/black-friday Woolworths - https://www.woolworths.co.za/cat/_/N-1n3sz04 Shoprite - https://www.shoprite.co.za/black-friday.html CNA - https://www.cna.co.za/black-Friday MR Price Home - https://www.mrphome.com/en_za/shop/black-friday-2017 HiFi Corporation - https://www.hificorp.co.za/hifi-black-friday Samsung SA - https://www.samsung.com/za/offer/blackfriday-2018/ VOX Telecom - https://www.vox.co.za/blackfridayspecials/ Please post links to Black Friday deals in this thread then I will add them to the OP.
  10. I am holding thumbs! I just want this little share not to be a scam/failure.
  11. Suddenly this stock is hurting me. Up 1%
  12. Yea I also use the Bloomberg site for my stocks.
  13. This sounds incredible and a little surreal, will we actually pull this off? Edit: "Can" we actually pull this off?
  14. I am really interested to see what companies they will list. Do they accept dual listings, if they do I would find it interesting to see how they will manage the pricing data since ZARX promised free real-time data whilst the JSE made a business out of selling live and delayed data access?
  15. Who of you will be attending the AGM? I see on their website, The Annual General Meeting, to be held at Curro Durbanville School, CR van der Merwe School Hall, 1 Memento Drive, Sonstraal Heights, Cape Town at 14:00 on Monday, 4 June 2018.
  16. Did these guys managed to list, I cannot seem to find data on them? Am I correct, that this is the company who owns the Golden Arrow busses?
  17. Have any of you moved your TFSA yet?
  18. How is everyone's TFSAs looking? Mine is red for the year.
  19. Welcome to the forum! I was in the same boat when I first arrived here, but I've learned a lot since then thanks to some of the threads in here. Actually a lot of this is not as difficult as it first appeared to me, especially ETFs which I also only recently got into.
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