S&V Weekly Newsletter Vol.3 No.46, November 20, 2017
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Zimbabwe: Cautious optimism from our readers
Zimbabweans in the leather, footwear and leather goods industries generally welcomed last week's 'non-coup' and the anticipated end of the Mugabe regime. They are also holding their breaths in hope that it will be replaced by something much better. The following are extracts from comments emailed to S&V:
Zimbabweans turned out in their tens of thousands over the weekend to joyously celebrate the end of the Mugabe era, and that appears to be uppermost in everyone’s minds. However calmer voices, both black and white, are endeavouring to remind the populace of the role that Mnangagwa and General Chiwenga played in Gukhurahundi, that it was these same generals who allowed Mugabe to come to power in 2008 and 2013, that it was this military and these war veterans who spearheaded the violence after the 2008 elections to ensure that Mugabe got back into power, and it is these same generals and military who are behind the abduction and murder of opposition MDC activists. And as Senator Dave Coltart said so succinctly yesterday, “I wonder who is going to cast the first stone at the ruining party’s central committee meeting taking place now to remove Mugabe as President for, amongst other things, corruption?”
This coup, and our jubilant response, runs the risk of sanitising Zanu-PF and sealing our fate for another 37 years.
Strangely enough though, Mugabe seems to have helped the opposition. Assuming that Mugabe would resign, Chinamasa said earlier that Zanu would not work with the opposition once Mnangagwa got the presidency. Now they have to impeach him, which means they need the MDC in order to get the two thirds vote. - Gale Rice, director, Courteney Boot Co., Bulawayo
Everything remains calm throughout the country and our stores are trading normally. - Linda Masterson, Group Managing Director, Edgars Stores Limited - Zimbabwe, Harare
We are in the middle of what some people call a coup. The army are adamant that this is not a coup but “is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation” and that they have simply embarked on an exercise to weed out criminals surrounding the President. Legal minds say a rose by any other name is still a rose but accept that something had to be done to save the country from imploding. Professor Steve Hanky (Johns Hopkins University, USA) says our implied Annual Inflation rate in September was 348% and Implied Monthly Inflation was 185%. Today Government announced that inflation was I think, under 2%. Prices are still rising with some commodities by as much as 300% so you can guess who is correct. Corruption is endemic and most government institutions, including hospitals, have all but collapsed. - Bev Jack, retired, formerly director of LAIFEZ
There actually isn’t too much to report from here; that might sound unbelievable but it is business as usual tinged with hope for possible change. The mood was positive earlier in the week but that is fading. And being the patient people we are, that might be all the net result of this week – patience tested. Business carries on, rumours fly – we are very, very good at rumours and rumours abound in the absence of facts. - Anonymous, component supplier, Harare
So far everything its fine. People are going to work, business as normal. They have placed road blocks. Yesterday l went to Francistown in Botswana [but they were] only asking for ID cards and checking on cars and what they are carrying. There is free movement of people. Even at night there is no victimization going to Harare. - Godknows Nhandara, director, York-Lee Suppliers, Bulawayo
Everything is running normally in Bulawayo but I think everyone is holding their breath as we wait. - Judy Friend, Safari Leather, Bulawayo
Every day activities are continuing and business as normal, as far as I know. We are certainly carrying on as normal.
There is a huge air of expectation of something, and desire to know what is happening behind closed doors. - Simon Arnold, Surrey Group, Harare-Mutare highway
The majority of Zimbabweans feel jubilant about the events of the last few days. This does not mean we that we are certain about the future, but the 15th of November 2017 was a very good day. The military did what they had to do, and they were the only ones who could do it. They did it professionally and as peacefully as was possible. I went through four army roadblocks on my way home and was treated with dignity and respect. To be honest I was incredibly proud to be Zimbabwean.
In the process banks are operating normally and businesses are open, and hardly any police anywhere. We as the business community have every reason to be optimistic. We have enormous potential in our country, but a stale and selfish government stifled us.
Of course we know that there will be challenges ahead, but the way Zimbabweans handled day one, fills us with hope for day two and three and beyond.
We take nothing for granted, we trust in God and we pray for peace.
But all said and done, day one was a very good day to be Zimbabwean. - Nigel Hough, shareholder, Zambezi Tanners
Mr Price half year results
Downgrade concerns, but good start to summer
Extracts from the report posted online this morning
Counterfeit case: Trial date set
Durban (SA) – The trial of Abdool Seedat, the owner of the factory at 86 Leicester Road, Mobeni, raided and shut down on October 19 last year for producing counterfeit Nike and Guess products, has been set for May 21-25 next year in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court.
Springbok (SA) – Pro Sports changed hands in October. Piet Steyn is the new owner. - +27 (0)27 712 3570, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Kempdorp (SA) – J French Cash Store will be closing at the end of the year.
S&V at ATF
S&V will be on stand A10 at the ATF fair this week (Tuesday-Thursday). Visitors and queries welcome.
November 21-23: ATF Trade Exhibition, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Deidre Harte, +27 (0)21 790 5849, email@example.com
They Said It
"If I say I'll call you back, will you trust me?" - Alex Liu, from new Pinetown factory Cindy HCC. Still waiting, Alex.
"I've got my own way of doing things and I'll stick to it until they put me in a box, and then I'll still tell them how to close the damn thing." - Dave Boulanger, proprietor of The Little Leather Shop in Shelley Beach, leather crafter and unrepentant hippy. His cell phone ring tone is a Jimi Hendrix number.
Harare (Zimbabwe) – Commission agent John Brock, who formerly represented Kaytex Belts and Ninian & Lester, died on September 20.
Birthdays this week
20/11/1964: Jessica Han, Gutsy, Bloemfontein.
In Memoriam this week
20/11/1997: Christian Larkins (b. 01/07/51), Interchem, Cape Town.
Do you have any names you’d like to add to our list of birthdays and In Memoriam? Please send the details.
ABSA Agri Trends 10/11: Hides & skins prices
The average hide price over the past week was 0.6% higher at R12.24/kg green. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies. The average price for Dorper skins was R37.00, and for Merino skins was 101.75.
Trade Fair dates
For a list of local and international trade fairs covering footwear, leather goods, leather and PPE, visit our website: http://www.svmag.co.za/events.php
News & Classifieds: Tony Dickson, +27 (0)31 209 7505, firstname.lastname@example.org
Next newsletter: November 27, 2017.