Who Owns Whom

News Letters

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By Andrew McGregor

Global Disruptors

I recently paged through the December 2019 copy of the Economist’s The World in 2020 edition, which makes predictions for the year ahead, and while no mention was made of the covid tsumani, it did predict that Trump would not get a second term. Interestingly 2020 was the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and the World Health Organisation declared 2020 ‘the year of the nurse’, which could not have been more appropriate, but for different reasons.

The response to the pandemic by the South African health community has been little short of heroic, and I borrow from Winston Churchill to say that never before has so much been owed by so many to so few.

Covid was a force majeure, but we have also seen many man-made disruptors. WOW published its first Global Disruptor report on the cryptocurrency industry which can be found under the industries menu option of WOWEB under the Global Disruptor tab. An interesting fact is that the energy needed for the mining of cryptocurrencies in a year is more than that produced by Argentina. The industry is still in a fledgling stage in South Africa and if it is to become a global contender, the energy crisis will need to be resolved. The next report in production is energy storage.

Another development is the introduction of “Trends” reports, inclusive of PESTLE analyses, which will look at umbrella industries and take into account data from previous and current reports to show industry trends. The first report is on FMCG, and encompasses data from reports from 34 five-digit codes and can also be found via the industry menu option under the Trends tab.

A number of other reports have been published since our last communication including the report on Beverages in Ghana, which is currently the fastest growing Sub-Saharan economy with GDP growth of 6.41% in 2019.  It shows that British-owned Guinness Ghana Breweries is the market leader in the Ghanaian alcoholic beverages industry with 58.7% market share in 2020, followed by AB InBev-owned Accra Brewery with 30% of the commercial beer market.

The minibus taxi industry is much maligned, but plays a crucial economic role, and last year carried 69% of South African commuters, an increase from 59% in 2003. The taxi recapitalisation programme introduced in 2001 had scrapped 72,653 unroadworthy taxis by 2018.

We are in the final stages of implementing POPIA, and while a number of outstanding issues await a response from the regulator, indications are that the bios and photographs of directors will need to be removed from our database to comply with the act even though this information has been placed in the public domain by the subjects themselves. We will keep you informed.

Stay safe and hopeful.