Sunday Times

Vehicle sales accelerate rapidly but manufactur­ing gauge drops


YEAR-on-year vehicle sales increased by more than 6,000% in April — 12 months after the Covid-19 hard lockdown brought the market to a virtual standstill. Figures released by the Automotive Business Council (formerly the National Associatio­n of Automobile Manufactur­ers of SA) show that 35,779 cars and commercial vehicles were sold. In April 2020, the number was 574.

MTN became the first mobile operator in Rwanda to list on that country’s stock exchange, the latest move to increase local ownership in the group’s businesses in Africa.

KAAP Agri reinstated an interim dividend, signalling a degree of confidence among management that the worst could be behind them following a Covid19-induced setback. The agricultur­al services group declared an interim dividend of 40c a share after the release of halfyear results which showed profits rose by nearly a quarter.

THE Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of the health of the manufactur­ing sector, fell for the first time in four months in April, though the indicator remained in positive territory. The seasonally adjusted PMI, published in conjunctio­n with the Bureau for

Economic Research, fell to 56.2 index points from a March reading of 57.4.

THE medicines regulator appealed to the Treasury for a bigger budget, warning that it cannot do its job effectivel­y unless key vacancies are filled. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority shot to public prominence during the coronaviru­s pandemic as it plays a pivotal role in approving new diagnostic­s, vaccines and treatments.

WAGE negotiatio­ns at Eskom got off to a rocky start when the cash-strapped power utility rejected the majority of the unions’ demands and instead tabled proposals aimed at changing the conditions of service.

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