Driving a shiny new Mercedes-Benz may soon become a distant dream for many but the most affluent. 


The average price of a Mercedes reached some €72 900 (R1.4 million) last year — a 43% increase over 2019 levels.

That chimes with the carmaker’s push even further upmarket by focusing on top-end models like the S-Class sedan to bolster profits. The company has been working through pent-up demand after chip shortages curbed production last year.

Mercedes is hiking the prices even of entry-level models like the A-Class hatchback. Drivers are increasingly only be able to buy versions of the car with bells-and-whistle options as standard.

Mercedes isn’t alone. Around the world, manufacturers are reaping the benefits of selling fewer but more expensive cars. In the US, average monthly payments for a new car nearly doubled from late 2019.

And as battery-powered vehicles tend to cost more than the average combustion-engine car, the shift to EVs may make the affordability crisis even worse.-fin24

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has warned that his country may sever ties with diamond giant De Beers if talks to renegotiate a sales deal prove unfavorable to his government.

The rand is trading on the wrong side of R18/$ for the first time in more than three months, as expectations grow that US interest rates may still climb much higher.

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO) has declared an end to the long-standing issue of load shedding in the country. In a recent press conference, the Managing Director of ZESCO, Victor Mapani, expressed the good news that Zambian households and businesses will now be able to enjoy a steady supply of electricity, uninterrupted by load-shedding. 

Adidas said it might report an operating loss of €700 million (US$1.1 billion) in 2023 as it deals with fallout from the dispute with rapper and former partner Ye.

The German sneaker brand said if it had to write off all existing Yeezy inventory, it could report such a loss in 2023. It has previously flagged that its profit and revenue have been hurt by the damage from ending the lucrative line.

New chief executive officer Bjorn Gulden is looking to inject a fresh era of creativity and optimism into a brand beset by crises on several fronts. He’s conducting a strategic review aimed at “reigniting profitable growth” by next year that could cost as much as €200 million in 2023.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Gulden said in a statement on the company website. “We are currently not performing the way we should.” 

Adidas would put its full focus on consumers along with its athletes, retail partners and employees, Gulden said. The goal is to create “brand heat”, improve products, better serve distributors and become “a great and fun place to work”, he said.

“We need to put the pieces back together again,” he said in the statement. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”

Gulden started at Adidas in January after nearly a decade running cross-town rival Puma, where he led a turnaround that he also began by resetting profit and sales growth expectations. His main focus at Adidas will be reinvigorating the brand’s lacklustre pipeline of sneakers and apparel and winning back customers in the US, Europe and China. He will also have to figure out if Adidas can sell or repurpose Yeezy designs to customers without the brand name.

Sales will sink at a high-single-digit rate in 2023, the German company forecast late Thursday. That compares with the roughly 4 per cent growth that analysts were estimating.

The sportswear group terminated its lucrative design partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in late October after he made a series of anti-Semitic and racist remarks.

Adidas had become heavily dependent on the Yeezy line, which it dubbed one of the most successful in the industry’s history, and it took weeks of deliberations inside the company before it finally terminated the partnership. Other retailers such as Gap Inc. moved much quicker to sever ties.

Adidas is also still facing challenges in China where demand for its shoes and clothing has fallen amid a consumer boycott and as a result of COVID restrictions.-smh

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has created a ministry of electricity as he seeks a solution to continual power blackouts that have beleaguered the country.

BP has reported a record profit of US$28 billion for 2022, lifted by the surge in energy prices since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while boosting its dividend in a sign of confidence as it scaled back plans to reduce oil and gas output by 2030.

Oil and gas giant Shell has reported record annual profits after energy prices surged last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

CryptoConvert has announced that its CryptoQR platform is now active at all Pick n Pay stores around South Africa, allowing shoppers to pay with Bitcoin using the Lightning network.

The African Development Bank will commit US$10 billion over the next five years to boost food production on the continent and help end its reliance on imports.

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