It doesn’t really mean much when you hear that a company paid a dividend of,  say, 50c a share. But when you hear dividends expressed in absolute terms you can see the significant cash injections they can bring to the economy.

In the third quarter of 2021, for example, Anglo American Platinum paid out no less than R3.13bn to shareholders. Kumba Iron Ore was also generous, with a R1.55bn payout. Banks did not pay dividends in 2020 but started to make up for lost time. Standard Bank distributed the most largesse, paying out R390m...

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