Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom could have saved more than R300 million had it listened to advice it received in December – that payments to Gupta-linked Trillian were irregular and possibly illegal. More details about the deal are expected in a report Eskom will submit to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Friday, explaining why it misled her, Parliament and the media about irregular payments totalling R1.6 billion to Trillian and global consultancy McKinsey.
- This R300 million figure will contribute to South Africa’s ongoing corruption issues, which currently costs the country at least R27 billion annually as well as the loss of 76,000 jobs. Collusion increases the costs of doing business, stunts the dynamism and competitiveness that is needed and has a negative impact on growth and jobs, said Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.
- The CCTV system that contributed to a drastic reduction in crime in the heart of Johannesburg is virtually useless following the cancellation of a contract with a service provider and the relocation of the control room. This follows similar reports that Johannesburg’s unmanned traffic cameras had been offline for several months, after the city decided to cancel and re-open the tender to new bidders.
- The Johannesburg High Court will next week hear an urgent application brought by Syngia chief executive Magda Wierzycka against Mzwanele Manyi for statements she says amount to intimidation, harassment, defamation and hate speech. In his answering affidavit, Manyi said Wierzycka was trying to suppress fair comment on social-economic issues in South Africa that “does not accord with her own world view”.
- South Africa’s rand was slightly weaker on Thursday, reversing some earlier losses against a buoyant dollar as domestic trade figures showed another surplus and producer inflation slowed. On Friday, the rand was trading at R13.02 to the dollar, R16.38 to the pound and R15.49 to the euro.