Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Finance mininster Malusi Gigaba is facing criticism from economists after signing off on a R2.2 billion bailout for SAA this weekend, without attaching any terms and conditions to try rein in the failing airline. Economists argue that at the very least, Gigaba should have called for the removal of SAA chair, Dudu Myeni, who has defiantly remained head of the board, directing the airline to loss upon loss. The company made a loss of R1.9 billion in the 2015 financial year and loses around R370,000 a month.
- The no confidence vote against president Jacob Zuma has been delayed y 5 days due to a scheduling conflict. The vote, which was scheduled for 3 August 2017, has now been pushed back to 8 August. At its policy conference this weekend, the ANC ramped up support for Zuma, saying that those who defy party orders and vote against him would be punished. Zuma has survived seven Parliamentary no confidence votes, and two internal ANC ‘debates’.
- The Democratic Alliance is laying complaints against UK-based PR firm, Bell Pottinger, at international and UK bodies for allegedly inciting race-based hatred in South Africa during a campaign for the Gupta family. The party has laid a complaint with the UK-based Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) on the grounds that the firm promoted racial hatred in South Africa.
- The Western Cape’s water crisis is deepening, and the City of Cape Town has been forced to move water restrictions to level 4b. At this level, water users have to cut back on their individual usage to less than 87 litres of water per person per day, and the City has to collectively use less than 500 million litres per day. Residents and businesses that are using an excessive amount of water face fines, and will have water regulating devices installed to limit their consumption, the City said.
- The rand slid on Friday, on news that the South African currency’s recent out-performance is grinding to a halt, with Citigroup and Morgan Stanley warning its performance won’t last. The rand fell by over 0.5% on Friday, hitting a low of R13.12 to the dollar. On Monday, the rand was trading at R13.07 to the dollar, R16.99 to the pound and R14.91 to the euro.