Abstemious boozing and frugal borrowing both tweak earnings
SA’S alcohol industry was hit with a four-day ban on sales for off-site consumption, but it escaped a total prohibition that could have crippled it. Bars, restaurants and taverns would be able to sell alcohol, but supermarkets and other stores would not be able to do so from Friday until Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said. He kept the country on lockdown level 1 with some tweaks.
JOHNSON & Johnson will make 30-million vaccines available to SA, with the first batch arriving this month, Ramaphosa said. During a visit to Aspen’s manufacturing facility in
Gqeberha, he said the US pharmaceutical company has agreed to make 250million vaccines available for Africa.
NAMPAK, Africa’s largest packaging company, said its businesses had bounced back since SA exited the hard lockdown in June last year and restrictions eased in September.
LOANS and advances to the private sector rose at their slowest pace in more than a decade in February, defying economists’ predictions of an acceleration of economic activity and demand for credit after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Growth in private-sector credit extension slowed to 2.62%, the weakest since July 2010, compared with 3.26% in January, Reserve Bank data showed.
REAL final consumption expenditure by households contracted 5.4% in 2020, the Reserve Bank’s March quarterly bulletin showed. This was more than the contraction in 2009 and compared with a 1% increase in 2019. The drop compares with average increases of 3.2% a year over the previous 20 years.
PILOTS at SA Airways, most of whom are locked out in a labour dispute, voted to strike in support of demands that include that the national carrier retrench them.