5 things you need to know in SA business today and 9 early YouTube stars who are still wildly popular after more than a decade of fame
1. StatsSA is due to publish the consumer price index (CPI) for May this morning. Inflation has been tracking nicely in the middle of the Reserve Bank's target range for a while – but with interest rate cuts on the cards, the exact rate of CPI is suddenly exciting again.
2. President Cyril Ramaphosa's office promised he would announce new measures to support Eskom soon, after meeting its board on Tuesday. It would be astonishing if Ramaphosa let his State of the Nation Address on Thursday go by without at least a broad outline of the plan to fix Eskom, which by some estimates need another R150 billion or so in bailouts soon.
3. Insurance giant Old Mutual now faces a court challenge from its fired CEO Peter Moyo, who is disputing the truth of Old Mutual's version of their very-much-not-amicable parting of ways. Old Mutual says Moyo failed in his fiduciary duty, he says his former employer's explanations are "at best are incomplete and at worst misleading". No sign that the fight will impact the functioning of the company, but it isn't great for Old Mutual's reputation either.
4. Zimbabwe now has load shedding for 18 hours per day, and still has no idea how or when it will pay huge arrears to Eskom for previous power imports. Small-scale miners have predicted a slump in their output, and farmers say the lack of power with which to irrigate will hit their harvests too.
5. Johannesburg has been told to anticipate 54 hours of water outages next week. The pipes may not be entirely dry for all that time, but residents and businesses will have no assurance of adequate water supply either.
9 early YouTube stars who are still wildly popular after more than a decade of fame
Reporting by Madeline Stone
Nearly 15 years have passed since YouTube officially launched, ushering in an age where anyone with a camera could post videos to their own personal channel.
As YouTube continues to grow older, we took a look back at some of the stars who have helped make the platform an essential part of internet culture.
These creators were incredibly popular back in the earliest days of YouTube and still have fan bases numbering in the millions today.
Here's what they're up to now:
In 2005, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla — or "Smosh," as the duo is known — uploaded a video of them dancing along with the "Power Rangers" theme song.
Smosh became wildly successful and has amassed 24.5 million subscribers. Padilla left Smosh in 2017 to pursue his own YouTube channel and now has 3.4 million subscribers of his own. Hecox and the rest of the Smosh crew were supportive of Padilla's desire to create his own videos.
When Freddie Wong started his YouTube channel in 2006, he focused on making short action films with a dose of comedy.
Wong developed his channel into a full-fledged production company called RocketJump. RocketJump has created multiple TV series for YouTube, including "Video Game High School," which completed three seasons on YouTube. RocketJump has slowed video production in the past year but remains active on social media.
Michelle Phan started her beauty YouTube channel back in 2006. One tutorial, where she shows how she uses makeup to transform herself into a Barbie, has more than 67 million views.
Phan took a break from YouTube and social media in 2016 for personal reasons, but returned to public life after a year-long hiatus. She posted a final YouTube video in June 2017 explaining why she stepped away from the platform, but continues to work in the beauty industry as a more traditional model and spokeswoman.
Justine Ezarik — or "iJustine," as she's better known — launched her YouTube channel in 2006. A self-professed techie, her first viral hit was a video of her going through and commenting on her 300-page phone bill.
She now has nearly 6 million subscribers, and her videos have been viewed over 1 billion times. In 2017, Ezarik was named one of the top 10 influencers in tech by Forbes.
Soon after launching his channel in 2006, Ryan Higa became one of YouTube's first huge stars.
Higa was one of the first YouTubers to get more than 1 billion views on his videos. He still hosts a podcast called "Off The Pill" and occasionally posts vlogs for his 21 million subscribers.
Grace Helbig started posting vlogs and silly lip-sync videos to YouTube in 2006.
More than a decade later, Helbig hosts her own podcast and has written two New York Times best-sellers, "Grace & Style" and "Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up."
Comedy duo Nice Peter (Peter Shukoff) and EpicLloyd (Lloyd Ahlquist) started Epic Rap Battles in 2006. Their hilarious videos show two historical figures facing off in a duel of words.
With more than 14.5 million subscribers, Epic Rap Battles is still incredibly popular today. The duo has appeared in official YouTube ads and was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Shortform Variety Series."
David Choi started uploading his music videos to YouTube in 2006. He quickly grew a following both in the US and Asia.
In the years since, he's released four full-length albums, and his songs have appeared in programming for NBC, Fox, E!, MTV, and more. While Choi still has less than 1 million subscribers, his videos have earned 109,256,557 views.
Tyler Oakley started posting his daily thoughts to YouTube in 2006.
These days, Oakley has more than 7.48 million subscribers. His videos about coming out have inspired a younger generation of YouTubers, including beauty and fashion guru Ingrid Nilsen.
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