Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom has asked government to give it a pass to skip procurement processes for R31.3 billion worth of contracts, setting alarm bells ringing. Eskom’s request makes up the bulk of the R37 billion worth of contracts government departments want a pass on. Eskom is already under fire for signing off on unlawful contracts.
- The Bank of Baroda in South Africa is under investigation for holding money for the Gupta family, while the bank is also trying to drop the controversial family. Sources have told Bloomberg that the bank is being investigated for not doing enough to combat financial crime. It is accused of having to great an exposure to the family, which is accused of money laundering, among other things.
- South Africa is at high risk of being downgraded further by ratings agencies, as political uncertainty looms going into the last quarter of the year. Economists are bluntly pessimistic about the country, with the feeling that we are on a downward trend and bracing for impending crisis.
- The latest Vitality ObeCity Index shows that South Africa has a growing problem with obesity, with the country having much higher rates of obesity among both men and women than in 1980. Cape Town in the healthiest city in the country with 53.5% having normal body weight. Port Elizabeth was the unhealthiest, with only 48.8% having normal weight.
- South Africa’s rand firmed by more than one percent against the dollar for a second consecutive session on Wednesday boosted by a lull in local politics and some importers stepping into buy the currency before the rally fades. On Thursday the rand was trading at R13.50 to the dollar, R17.91 to the pound and R16.04 to the euro.