Braai the beloved coun­try fails to gain trac­tion like Christ­mas and Easter

The Sunday Independent - - BUSINESS REPORT - Luy­olo Mken­tane

Gupta ac­counts closer to closed

THE HOPES of Gupta-owned Oak­bay and its sub­sidiaries to ex­tend their bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties with the Bank of Bar­oda (BoB), In­dia’s state-owned lender, are dashed af­ter the North Gaut­eng High Court dis­missed the com­pa­nies’ in­ter­dict ap­pli­ca­tion to stop BoB from clos­ing their ac­counts at the end of this month un­til the mer­its of its main ap­pli­ca­tion are heard in De­cem­ber. The court’s de­ci­sion leaves the fu­ture of the em­bat­tled com­pany up in the air.

Growth out­look cut

THE WORLD Bank slashes South Africa’s eco­nomic growth out­look for this year to 0.6 per­cent, from the 1.1 per­cent it fore­cast ear­lier in the year, and says South Africa’s sec­ondquar­ter growth of 2.5 per­cent will be in­suf­fi­cient to re­store pos­i­tive per capita gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth for the year. How­ever, the bank says it ex­pects eco­nomic growth for next year to be 1.1 per­cent, with 1.7 per­cent ex­pected in 2019.

In fir­ing line

THE VERY ex­is­tence of em­bat­tled audit firm KMPG came into ques­tion as Tom Moy­ane, com­mis­sioner of the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars), says he has rec­om­mended that the gov­ern­ment black­list the firm as the fall­out over the Sars “rogue unit” re­port con­tin­ues un­abated.

New Sa­sol deal

PETROCHEMICALS gi­ant Sa­sol an­nounces the re­place­ment of its debt-rid­den black em­pow­er­ment scheme, In­zalo, with its em­pow­er­ment struc­ture, Khany­isa, in a deal it val­ues at R21 bil­lion. Sa­sol In­zalo, which is ex­pected to un­wind in June 2018, has R11.9bn debt. In dis­band­ing In­zalo, Sa­sol will write off the in­ter­nal debt of the scheme, which it fi­nanced.

Fe­dusa fed up

A WEEK af­ter Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Dan Matjila sur­vived at­tempts to have him re­moved, the coun­try’s sec­ond­biggest labour fed­er­a­tion, Fe­dusa, says it is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing ditch­ing Africa’s largest fund man­ager as an in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle. The PIC over­sees nearly R2 tril­lion in as­sets on be­half of gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees. MIL­LIONS of South Africans will be unit­ing around braais today to cel­e­brate Na­tional Her­itage Day, which busi­nesses have found ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to ex­ploit for profit.

Re­spected mar­ket­ing an­a­lyst and ad­viser Chris Mo­erdyk said busi­nesses had not been tak­ing ad­van­tage of Her­itage Day in the same man­ner they did of Christ­mas Day and the Easter hol­i­days.

This, he ex­plained, was be­cause of the dif­fer­ent her­itages in the coun­try which made it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to de­fine a tar­get mar­ket.

“It is far too com­pli­cated for mar­keters to get their heads around Her­itage Day.

“And it is im­pos­si­ble to have ad­ver­tis­ing which fo­cuses on all of (the her­itages),” he said.

Un­per­turbed, Jan Braai, real name Jan Scan­nell, the man be­hind the Na­tional Braai Day ini­tia­tive, has called on the masses to let their hair down and have some fun be­cause there were con­stantly “se­ri­ous is­sues on the agenda in South Africa”.

Na­tional Braai Day, which en­cour­ages South Africans to unite around fires, share their her­itage and wave the na­tional flag on Septem­ber 24, has been hailed as one of the most suc­cess­ful na­tion-build­ing cam- paigns of the past decade.

The ini­tia­tive has been likened to an­nual cel­e­bra­tions marked by other nations such as Thanks­giv­ing Day for the Amer­i­cans, St Pa­trick’s Day for the Ir­ish, Bastille Day for the French and Aus­tralia Day for Aus­tralians.

Jan Braai took to so­cial media and posted on his Face­book page that for more than a decade, the Na­tional Braai Day had brought South Africans to­gether like no other pub­lic hol­i­day.

“Get­ting more than 50 mil­lion peo­ple to unite around a fire has to be the ul­ti­mate aim of Na­tional Braai Day,” he wrote, adding that he knew peo­ple were look­ing for­ward to this year’s Na­tional Braai Day, which comes against the back­drop of stub­bornly high meat prices.

Meat in­fla­tion was recorded at 14.4 per­cent on a yearly ba­sis in July, its high­est since De­cem­ber 2011.

This was as a re­sult of the dev­as­tat­ing avian flu and cat­tle re­stock­ing process, which fol­lowed the per­sis­tent drought that rav­aged parts of the SADC for the past three years.

Re­cent data from the Red Meat Levy Ad­min showed that farm­ers had slaugh­tered 202 886 head of cat­tle in May. This was up 5 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous month.

In June, farm­ers again sharp­ened their knives and in­creased their slaugh­ter­ing ac­tiv­ity fur­ther by 1 per­cent to 203 983 head of cat­tle.

It goes without say­ing that some of that meat would make its way to your braais or chesa nya­mas in the form of sir­loin, T-bone or rump steaks, as we jointly mark this year’s Na­tional Her­itage/Braai Day.

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