Discovery and RAF heading for legal collision
Another legal storm is brewing between Discovery Health and the Road Accident Fund (RAF) after the state-run fund accused the medical schemes administrator's outgoing CEO, Ryan Noach, of making misleading media statements.
This follows a Constitutional Court ruling last week that dismissed an RAF application for leave to appeal a high court order interdicting it from refusing to reimburse medical schemes after covering the medical costs of members injured in road accidents.
Noach described the ruling as a victory for medical schemes members, only for the RAF to issue a statement on 21 October questioning his interpretation of the Constitutional Court's decision.
"Nowhere did the Constitutional Court uphold any decision by the high court or Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)," the RAF said, which quoted Noach as allegedly having commented in the media that the apex court's ruling upheld a prior decision by the high court.
The RAF statement came after Business Day cited RAF CEO Collins Letsoalo as saying it would not resume payments to medical schemes despite the Constitutional Court ruling. Noach also told the newspaper that failure by the RAF to process claims submitted by medical schemes to recoup the cost of payouts to members injured in road accidents would result in Discovery Health applying for a "contempt and enforcement order".-Fin24

Datatec profit rise by 39%
ICT group Datatec reported that strong demand and easing supply chain issues helped lift core profit 39% to about US$81 million (about R1.55 billion) in its half-year to end August.
The group said it was benefitting from continuing trends in networking and cybersecurity, while in the recent period, it had struggled with a semiconductor shortage that had resulted in some backlogs, which are now easing. Valued at R8.2 billion on the JSE, Datatec's operations span North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, and its core businesses are Logicalis, which focuses on IT infrastructure and offerings such as cloud and hybrid services, as well as Westcon, a distributor of cybersecurity, network infrastructure and data centre services, among others.
Datatec's shares had dipped marginally on Monday afternoon and have risen more than 14% in the year to date, while falling a similar amount on a one-year basis.-Fin24
Sasol still feeling the rail pinch
Chemicals and energy giant Sasol said on Monday that liquid fuel sales were 6% higher in the three months to end September, its first quarter, while its mining productivity result lifted 9%.
Amid lower energy prices, the average sales price for chemicals fell 9% from the prior quarter. The group said in a production update that its production and sales volume guidance for 2024 remained unchanged across regions, but it expects pricing and demand volatility to continue.
Global market sentiment and petrochemical markets remain uncertain, with the margin outlook for chemicals looking more muted than previously expected. In South Africa, the group said its suppliers and customers face ongoing business disruptions due to Eskom and Transnet challenges, which include senior leadership changes in both state-owned entities.
Despite this, export sales in its mining business were flat year on year. Sasol's shares closed less than 1% higher on Monday and have fallen about 15% in the past 12 months.-Fin24
Head of troubled coal line exits Transnet
In the latest in a slew of resignations, Transnet’s managing executive for the critical export coal line, Ali Motala, is leaving the embattled state-owned company.
Transnet Freight Rail on Monday confirmed Motala would depart from the organisation "for personal reasons".
Motala’s exit follows the recent resignations of Transnet Group CEO Portia Derby, group CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini and TFR CEO Sizakele Mzimela.
Long-serving TFR employee Motala joined the state-owned logistics company almost 30 years ago, during which time he has held various executive roles.
In late 2021, he was appointed head of Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR) North Corridor. Prior to that, he had served as a strategic advisor in the office of the Transnet CEO.
The North Corridor is a critical line for the economy as it facilitates the movement of export coal from the Mpumalanga heartlands to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT). The line is also a key revenue driver for both TFR and the Transnet group as a whole.
But in the face of security challenges, locomotive shortages and other operational issues, the line has performed poorly and last year railed the lowest volumes of coal to RBCT in three decades.-Fin24