Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Parliamentary medical aid scheme Parmed is the latest organisation to drop KPMG in the wake of its damaging Gupta and SARS scandal. Parmed’s board decided to end its relationship with the auditor after considering the risks of being involved or associated with the firm. Parliament is also reportedly looking at the immediate termination of another KPMG contract.
- Finance minister Malusi Gigaba has again lashed out at Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over her Absa ‘apartheid looting’ report, saying that she drew haphazard conclusions and failed to conduct a diligent investigation. He accused her of relying on unsubstantiated evidence, and failing to keep an accurate record of her decision-making process.
- Ratings firm Moody’s has called South Africa’s plan to bail out SAA as a ‘moral hazard’, saying it will give larger SOEs the idea that government will always bail them out, perpetuating poor business administration. The group has South Africa on a negative outlook, one notch above junk, but says the country is likely to miss its targets.
- The Public Investment Corporation says it is ‘engaging’ with the Sunday Times over what it calls an inaccurate article quoting its CEO Dan Matjila saying he is a target of political attacks. The PIC has threatened legal action, but the ST says it has a recording of the interview. The PIC is said to be a target of a R100 billion plunder to bail out SOEs.
- South Africa’s rand tumbled to its weakest in nearly three months, bond prices hit a seven-week trough and gold stocks caved as a hawkish speech by the chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve worsened jitters about the local economy’s prospects. On Thursday the rand was trading at R13.63 to the dollar, R18.22 to the pound and R15.98 to the euro.