5 things you need to know in SA business today and 10 things we've learned from Elections 2019

Business Insider SA

1. With results from almost a fifth of the polling stations already counted, News24 is predicting that: 

  • The DA will hang onto the Western Cape with a reduced majority (from 57% in 2014), with the ANC also losing support in the province.
  • The ANC will take the Northern Cape.

It's too early to call the other provinces, but here are other predictions:

For full results coverage, go to the News24 elections hub.

2. Steinhoff's share price will probably be slaughtered on the JSE this morning after it slumped by more than 7% in Frankfurt yesterday. The embattled company released its restated financial results on Tuesday night - and it wasn't pretty.

3. AngloGold Ashanti this morning announced that it is exploring ways to get rid of its South African assets. This comprises mainly of Mponeng, the world’s deepest mine, in Gauteng. South African mines contributes less than 15% of AngloGold's output. 

“We believe that under the right ownership, our South African assets offer a compelling long-term value proposition that may allow for an extension to Mponeng Mine’s current life,” CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said in a statement. “The investment to extend Mponeng’s life beyond eight years has very strong competition for capital and other scarce resources from a host of other projects in our portfolio,which at current planning assumptions are more attractive, generating higher returns and quicker payback periods - we have therefore decided to review divestment options for our South African business.”

4. This morning, MTN released a quarterly update. Subscribers increased quarter-on-quarter by 4,0 million to 236,6 million, while MTN Mobile Money customers grew by 1,2 million to 28,3 million. Its revenue from the latter service increased by almost a third. In total, revenue increased by 10% from last year. MTN South Africa revenue gained 4.6%, with margins widening. MTN Nigeria revenue rose 13%.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s bourse regulator has approved MTN’s listing application in that market. The listing has been delayed following the large fine imposed on MTN in Nigeria.

5. ArcelorMittal South Africa released a shocker of an update this morning. Local steels sales fell 5%, while export sales were also down 23% in the first quarter of this year.

10 things we've learned from Elections 2019 

1. Only five of the more than 22,000 polling stations did not open at all yesterday. The stations were in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. 

2. Low voter turnout in some parts of the country prompted last-minute scrambling among political parties to mobilise voters.

By Wednesday evening, several South Africans were still receiving messages from political parties urging them to vote before the voting stations closed at 21:00, warning them of giving their rivals an advantage if they don't mark their "X". 

The IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa admitted that "things were bad" on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal. "Voter turnout in KwaZulu-Natal is bad, we have reactivated our ground operation in KZN," he said.

There were some exceptions:

3. There were some questions about how easily ink could be removed from thumbs:

4. The Russians may have been trying to influence the elections.

Daily Maverick reported that there was a plan to interfere with the election by an organisation closely linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to the Kremlin and "the man behind the world’s most serious disinformation campaigns".

The plan was supposed to create a disinformation campaign that favoured the ANC, some of the strategies included a video entitled “The EFF manifesto sucks” and attacks on Julius Malema and DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

5. The top Google searches on Election Day show that people were looking for their nearest voting station. Other trending topics were "EFF", (Mmusi) "Maimane" and "ACDP". 

6. KwaZulu-Natal was the most turbulent province yesterday, with protests and road blockades  halting voting in some cases. The South African National Defence Force was deployed to hotspots in the province. 

7. EFF leader Julius Malema was outraged after his his wife was almost forced to remove one of her artifical nails before she could cast her vote in Seshego, Limpopo.

Malema found this "bizarre". 

"And I said to her (the IEC official), 'Where is that written in the rules, that women who have long nails can't vote? We cannot have such patriarchal arrangements happening in the voting station, and the electoral officer came and said there is no such a thing," said Malema.

He added that the volunteer who marked the voters' fingers had a scissor which she gives women to use to remove their nails.

"It must never be costing [sic] for people to vote. Because to put nails [costs] money. And for someone to give you a scissor to [remove] the nail, are they going to pay for it? It can't be."

8. News24 reported that a tent had been stolen on Tuesday night at a voting station in QwaQwa, Free-State.

9. Some voting stations, including in Cape Town and Pretoria, ran out of ballot papers. Some voters had to wait for hours until papers were replenished.

10. Initial indications are that the gap between voter turnout in suburban areas and in rural areas and townships is widening. In the Western Cape, for example, almost 75% of suburban voters went to the polls, compared to only 63% of rural and township voters. In the Northern Cape, the gap was 16%.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo