Monthly Archives: August 2013

New Sandton Gym for Millionaires Opens

Mixed impressions on my first visit to the new Virgin Classic Gym in Sandton.

Tweets of the Day:

Political Humor (@PoliticalLaughs): Q: What is Bill Clinton’s definition of safe sex? A: It’s when Hillary is out of town.

Puns (@omgthatspunny): The frustrated cannibal threw up his hands.

Bucky Isotope (@BuckyIsotope): What’s your angle? I ask the protractor. He’s being obtuse. I’m having acute paranoia. This can’t be right.

Johan Venter (@JohanOsVenter): Joke of the day : I asked my friend from New Zealand how many sexual partners he’s had, he started counting and fell asleep

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Die Vine Intervention 30Aug. Simonsig bubbly

For this week’s Die Vine Intervention wine tasting podcast, Michael Olivier introduces the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut to John Fraser, Mike Schussler and Duane Newman.

Results from M&R and Woolworths

Today’s ZA Confidential will once again look at two topics – the financial results of engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts, as well as a brief glance at Woolworths’ results.

We will include expert comment from Simon Brown of

Tweets of the day:

Funny One Liners (@funnyoneliners): I finally found a diet plan that works. It’s called ‘The Cost of Food’.

Political Humor (@PoliticalLaughs): Don’t steal; the government hates competition.

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Sasol and Chicken

Today’s ZA Confidential will, unusually, look at two topics. The first is the unexpected resignation of Sasol CFO Christine Ramon, and the second is the protests from ZA poultry producers about tough conditions.


Company directors come and go, but what the markets don’t like is when they go abruptly, with little warning or explanation. Highly-regarded Sasol CFO Christine Ramon is to leave abruptly, and the company hasn’t given much detail on the reason for her departure. Presumably had she done wrong, it would have been more forthcoming. However, it may just be that she has been snapped up elsewhere, in a corporate world where talented women are much in demand. Or maybe she just doesn’t get on with the big boss? More may be revealed when Sasol releases its financial results on September the 9th.


We have seen results this week from both Country Bird and Rainbow Chicken (about to be re-named RCL) – two local poultry producers who complain of tough times. The main culprit appears to be dumped chicken in the ZA market, with calls on the dti to further protect against imports, but high feedstock prices are also being blamed. However, I have heard the EU Ambassador suggest that the real problem is not cheap imports, but the way in which our poultry producers run their businesses.

These two topics are discussed by our experts, who include Duane Newman, Jacques Theron, Ian Cruickshanks and Keith Mclachlan

Tweet of the day:

Funny Tweets (@iQuoteComedy): Zombies eat brains… You’re safe.

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Uplift in Growth

The South African economy is growing, albeit slowly. Stats out today show that quarter on quarter growth in the second quarter of 2013 was 3% (up from 0.9% in Q1), with the annual growth number of 2%. This is not enough to do much for job creation, but at least the second quarter was better than the first.

Today’s ZA Confidential includes expert comment from Chris Hart, Mike Schussler, Sizwe Nxedlana, the DA and Nedbank.

Tweets of the day:

Joel Ingersoll (@FlyoverJoel): I’ve crunched the numbers and it’s cheaper to start your own octopus farm than to buy retail printer ink.

Fake Dispatch (@Fake_Dispatch): Military experts say that the United States has no sliver bullet against Syria. This means that if Syria is a werewolf, we are screwed.

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Solid Results from Bidvest

Bidvest reported a 14.9 increase in revenue, with normalised headline earnings a share up 15.4 percent for the year to June.

CEO Brian Joffey says the hostile Adcock Ingram acquisition is “a work in process. The shareholders will finally make the decision. Time will tell.”

Already a global force, Africa is seen as an important area for Bidvest’s expansion. What did our experts have to say?

Today’s ZA Confidential included comments from Lavan Gopaul and Ron Klipin.

Tweets of the day:

Nein. (@NeinQuarterly): A nihilist and a nihilist walk into a bar. Nothing happens.

Chester Missing (@chestermissing): What’s the difference between a revolution and a coup? A coup is a revolution without US backing.

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Die Vine Intervention 23Aug. Van Ryn’s 12 year old distillers reserve brandy

Michael Oliver presents the award winning Van Ryn’s distillers reserve brandy to John Fraser, Michael MacDonald and Ian Cruickshanks. This podcast tasting also includes some chat on the wider world of booze.

Do We Need a New Coal-Fired Power Station

Cabinet decided this week that there will be a triplet sibling for the two coal-fired power stations currently under construction – Medupi and Kusile. This new project, currently dubbed Coal 3, will start up once the current two plants have been completed. Coal-powered plants are polluting and the decision to build another one appears to be anti-green. However, given the power constraints in ZA, maybe this decision was inevitable?

We got expert comment from Mike Schussler, Duane Newman and Andrew Kenny.

Tweets of the day:

Fake Dispatch (@Fake_Dispatch): A bar walks into a bartender. The horse says, "You’re not good at telling jokes, are you?"

Duncan McLeod (@mcleodd): Three 24-hour news channels on a premium satellite platform that reaches a limited audience in a developing economy. Okay, then…

Frans Cronje (@FCronje_SAIRR): Well done to @AgangSA leader for saying it’s ok to be wealthy and that Mandela was not a poor man. It needed to be said.

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Inflation Breaches Target Band

The CPI inflation number came in today at 6.3% for July – breaching the 6% upper level of the target band. This is not expected to be a sustained breach, but it does make inflation uncomfortably high? What did our experts have to say?

Today’s ZA Confidential features comment from John Loos, Ettienne le Roux, Dawie Roodt and Nedbank.

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Tweet of the day:
Michael Jordaan (@MichaelJordaan): July inflation 6,3%. Ironic that regulated prices increased 12% and market prices only 5%. Privatise.

Shoprite Surging Ahead

Although I am currently boycotting my local Checkers after astounding rudeness from a manger, I did go along to the holding company Shoprite’s results presentation today – as CEO Whitey Basson always puts on a good show. While I have little faith in his decision to enlist foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay to promote his meat and cheese, I do see him as one of the more impressive and outspoken of our business leaders. Shoprite is doing well, in a very tough and competitive local environment, and crucially is also continuing to expand in Africa. The results for the year to June included a 12.1 rise in turnover, with headline earnings a share up 11.3 percent, and a gain in market share. But what did our experts have to say?

We spoke to Independent analyst Ian Cruickshanks, Ron Klipin from Cratos Capital, and Jacques Theron from Absa Investments:

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