At a time when many of its rivals in the large retailer sector have been smacked by falling sales as consumers count every rand they spend, Spar has bucked the trend. It is doing pretty well in the northern hemisphere, and CEO Graham O’Connor reported a rise in operating profit to R2.6bn for the year to end-September, up from R2.3bn in 2015. Turnover rose 24.5% and aftertax profit increased 27.7%, which shows that amid the carnage happening on shop floors across the country, Spar is thriving.
The knives are predictably out for Springbok coach Allister Coetzee after SA’s humiliating 20-18 defeat by Italy in Florence last weekend. It was the first time lowly Italy had beaten the two-time world champions. It was, he said, "the darkest moment of my coaching career, definitely the toughest". The Boks have been beaten in seven of 11 tests this year, and Coetzee must be praying for redemption in the form of a Bok victory against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday. If they lose again, the calls for him to go will reach fever pitch.