Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Discontent is rising and ANC supporters are seeking alternatives, according to pre-election polls by Reuters, with many young, unemployed ANC supporters feeling left out by the party’s failure to deliver jobs. Polls predict the EFF will win 9%, 13% and 6% in the three key metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, with the ANC’s support seen dropping to 31%, 23% and 28%, respectively.
- Irate residents of Saxonwold want the Gupta’s “opulent mansion” demolished, as they believe the building was constructed illegally, and contravenes town planning regulations. Residents have brought an application to the Joburg city council to investigate. There have been complaints that the large four-storey building was infringing on privacy and devaluing property in the area.
- The rand shook off the rather poor employment data released by Stats SA on Thursday, rallying against the dollar after the FED left rates unchanged. Stocks ended lower with SABMiller slipping after the brewer paused the integration of its businesses with those of its acquirer AB InBev. On Friday the currency was at R14.13 to the dollar, R18.62 to the pound and R15.65 to the euro
- In global news: Asian shares touched a one-year peak on Friday, while the yen hit a two-week high in nervous trade as investors waited to see if the Bank of Japan will come up with stimulus that would meet markets’ expectations.
- Oil prices on Friday remained around April lows as slowing economic growth threatened to worsen ongoing oversupply of crude and refined products. International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $42.78, up 8 cents from their previous close. U.S. crude was at $41.16, up 2 cents.
In other news: Leading up to the 2016 elections, president Jacob Zuma has been on the campaign trail. In his latest attempt to win over voters, Zuma said that those not voting ANC will suffer bad luck as “the ancestors” will turn their backs against those who leave the party.