Just a Moment News - 2023-09-07


Good morning, and welcome to Just a Moment News. I’m Erika, and today is September 7, 2023. Let’s get into today’s headlines.

First up, we have sad news. Raymond Ackerman, the entrepreneur, visionary, and humanitarian, has passed away at the age of 92. Ackerman was the founder of Pick n Pay, a well-known South African company. In a statement, Pick n Pay expressed their profound sadness and described Ackerman as a visionary entrepreneur and a great South African. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Moving on to the music industry, the AI-generated artist known as Ghostwriter is back with a new song and is aiming for a Grammy. Ghostwriter’s latest track, “Whiplash,” features AI voices of Travis Scott and 21 Savage. The artist has posed an ultimatum to the real artists, giving them the choice to either allow the song’s official release or request its removal. If they consent, royalties will be provided. Ghostwriter’s previous AI-based work raised copyright concerns, but that hasn’t stopped the artist from attempting to submit the AI-generated song “Heart on My Sleeve” for two Grammy categories. However, the song still needs to meet certain criteria for general distribution, which may be complicated due to copyright concerns.

In sports news, there’s an exciting development for WP Rugby. The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has approved Red Disa’s acquisition of a 74% majority share in Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR). This deal, worth 148 Rand million, is set to be the largest sports equity transaction in South Africa’s history. The WPRFU will retain a 26% share and have representation in the new ownership structure. This decision is seen as a monumental moment for WP Rugby and has been endorsed by a majority of affiliate clubs. The deal now awaits ratification from the Competitions’ Commission, a process that may take between two to six months. The Red Sofa Consortium, led by the locally-based Le Roux family and Irish business giants Ardagh, spearheaded the proposal.

Turning to the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks have announced their squad for the tournament’s opener against Scotland. Coach Jacques Nienaber has selected a seasoned squad, including players like Steven Kitshoff, Pieter-Steph du Toit, and Jesse Kriel. Siya Kolisi will captain the team, despite recently recovering from a knee injury. Due to the absence of veterans Handré Pollard and Elton Jantjies, Manie Libbok will wear the No 10 shirt. Faf de Klerk will mark his 50th Test cap, and Duane Vermeulen will start on the bench. Unfortunately, utility players Canan Moodie and Jean Kleyn were omitted due to injuries. The Springboks are looking to break their past trend of shaky World Cup starts when they face Scotland on Sunday, September 10 at 5.45pm SA time.

In the business world, Checkers, owned by Shoprite Holdings, is launching a subscription service called Xtra Savings Plus. For 99 rand per month, subscribers will receive unlimited free deliveries via Checkers’ Sixty60 platform for orders over 350 rand. The subscription also offers 10% in-store savings up to 200 rand per month and additional personalized deals. This move seems to be inspired by the success of Amazon Prime and aims to capture market share ahead of Amazon’s entry into the South African market. While Sixty60 currently contributes less than 5% to Shoprite’s total sales, its significant year-on-year growth of 81% indicates potential for expansion in the subscription-based online shopping market.

Lastly, Karpowership, a Turkish company, has donated a game farm to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. This donation is part of Karpowership’s strategy to secure non-objection for its proposed 450MW gas-fired power plant at Richards Bay harbor in South Africa. The company has faced environmental and legal challenges over the past two years. Despite winning a government tender to supply 2GW of power, none of Karpowership’s plants are currently operational. The company is also planning a 320MW plant at Saldanha port and is proceeding with an appeal against a ruling blocking another 450MW plant at Ngqura port.

And that’s all for today’s news. Stay informed, and have a great day. This is Erika from Just a Moment News, signing off.

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