Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
President Jacob Zuma has reportedly been handed a deadline to step down as the country’s leader. Several ANC national executive committee (NEC) members told The Star that another motion of no confidence is on the cards against Zuma if he does not voluntarily leave the Union Buildings by the time the party’s top brass meet on Wednesday.
South Africa is waiting to see how the matric class of 2017 have performed. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric results this evening. In 2016, 72.5% passed the NSC examination – a 1.8 percentage point increase from 2015’s 70.7% pass rate. The number of progressed pupils – pupils who advanced to matric after failing a grade 11 twice – is expected to have a dramatic impact on the pass rate.
Analysts have raised concerns about how investors will react to Eskom’s decision to reinstate two executives who had been suspended on serious charges last year. The power utility announced on Wednesday that Matshela Koko and Prish Govender were reinstated after being cleared of any wrongdoing. “An important point is the reaction of the lenders and the financial community to this ongoing, poor governance or absence of governance and complete mismanagement at Eskom,” said energy expert Chris Yelland.
The DA and IFP have called on government to provide leadership amid fears of chaos once universities open for registration. The fears come in the wake of president Jacob Zuma’s announcement of free higher education for some students as well as encouragement from EFF leader Julius Malema that matriculants who passed well should show up at the university of their choice to be registered.
South Africa’s rand gained more than a percent on Wednesday, reversing losses from earlier in the session to trade at a three-day high, as investors betting on a dollar recovery bought the local currency cheap. On Thursday, the rand was trading at R12.40 to the dollar, R16.76 to the pound and R14.90 to the euro.