Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- South Africa will brace for the next credit rating review by Moody’s today, though expectations are that the country will be saved from slipping into a junk rating from the group. Moody’s, the most optimistic of all the ratings firms, currently has South Africa’s local and foreign debt rating at one notch above junk status.
- Despite being bailed out with a R2.2 billion payment from South Africa’s emergency fund, SAA-owned low-cost airline, Mango, still paid out bonuses to executives and to employees. The group made a profit in the 2016/17 financial year, but questions are being asked how it is possible, considering the quarterly losses recorded.
- Economic activity in South Africa is picking up, but not enough to show a change in fortunes. The latest BankservAfrica Economic Transactions Index shows a slight upswing in activity in July – however this is coming off of a low base, so is more reflective of a flat economy, rather than a swing into growth.
- While the DA appears hell-bent on dissolving Parliament and forcing early elections, other opposition parties are not buying it, with the EFF, UDM and COPE rejecting the motion. Analysts say that the motion would automatically fail as the ANC has a majority, and smaller parties are still reeling from the 2016 elections and have no appetite for a new election so soon.
- South African stocks pulled away from record highs on Thursday as rising tensions on the Korean peninsula drove investors to limit risks and shift to safe havens. On Friday the rand was trading at R13.44 to the dollar, R17.46 to the pound and R15.82 to the euro.