A second year of restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 presented many companies with a range of challenges.

While the liquor industry was one of the worst affected by the government’s measures, others found new opportunities to exploit.

Here are some of BD’s most-read company stories of the year.

1. Woolworths SA CEO Zyda Rylands will only be responsible for the food division from October until 2024, when she will retire from the company.

2. The liquor industry can literally say ‘I told you so’ 11 times over. 

3. Checkers is testing a store without checkout counters, the first cashierless food store in the country allowing shoppers to walk out without waiting in line to pay.

4. Disagreements between outgoing Absa CEO Daniel Mminele and some senior executives over the implementation of strategy became so serious that the board feared an increasing risk of a “loss of talent”.

5. Spur lost a long-running tax battle at the Supreme Court of Appeal in a judgment that shocked senior lawyers. 

6. Balwin Properties has cancelled its Wedgewood Development in Gauteng’s premium business district.

7. The world’s largest grocer, Walmart, is still backing its struggling SA subsidiary Massmart, owner of Makro and Game. 

8. Consol Glass is spending R8m a day to keep furnaces and production running even as orders for wine and beer bottles dry up.

9. The bank and service provider Lightstone say owners of up to 745,000 registered properties in SA may have had their personal details leaked. 

10. Woolworths has announced it is planning to increase its lowest-paid workers’ hourly wage by almost a quarter by 2023.


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