Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- There are renewed calls from business and labour for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Businessman, Sipho Pityana, who publicly called for Zuma to go, has now written to business groups in the country to step up and back the call. Cosatu, meanwhile, is seeing some of its members also unite behind a call for Zuma to resign. The president is seen as the main reason for a loss of support and faith in the ruling party, and many seek change.
- There are indications that Sanral is about to start a new round of summonses related to e-tolls in Gauteng, Outa says – this despite a legal agreement that the civil group and the road agency will play out a test case in the court. Under the agreement, contributing Outa members are temporarily immune from prosecution. Non-members, however, are still at risk and could be seeing a summons soon.
- Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has twisted the Gupta family’s logic against them, telling CEO of Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments that if he feels the SA banks’ decision to shut his company’s accounts was wrong – and he has nothing to hide – he should take the matter to court. The Guptas have long defended their stance that they have done nothing wrong, challenging those who say they are corrupt to take them to court.
- Medical aid members should expect a massive jump in the cost of contributions in 2017, analysts have warned, following a higher-than-expected rate of claims in 2015/16 leading to a deficit in the industry. Schemes are also expected to tighten the list of medical practitioners and practices they will pay out for. Schemes typically announce new prices in late September.
- South Africa’s rand slumped as much as 2 percent against the dollar on Friday, as global concerns following North Korea’s nuclear test compounded domestic political uncertainty, sending investors fleeing to safe haven assets. On Monday, the rand started the week at R14.44 to the dollar, R19.17 to the pound and R16.23 to the euro.
In other news: The National Prosecuting Authority says it will clamp down on and chase after corrupt government officials to help boost confidence in South Africa. Despite this claim, the NPA is still appealing the court ruling reinstating 783 charges of corruption against president Jacob Zuma.