Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- SARS has appointed eight agencies to collect R16.6 billion in tax that it says is owed to it. The move has raised questions around why the revenue service is outsourcing its core function, while also highlighting high levels of complacency or tax dodging among citizens. SARS last turned to debt collectors in 2016, with limited success.
- The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has obtained an urgent court interdict to prevent Eskom from signing deals with independent power producers. Eskom was to sign 27 contracts with renewable energy producers this week. Numsa argues that the contracts will lead to job losses in the coal mining sector.
- Gupta-owned or linked companies have been dealt a major blow, with the Bank of Baroda after the courts ruled that the bank cannot be compelled to stay in the country. The bank can now close up shop as it had planned by the end of this month, and continue its exit from South Africa. The Gupta-linked firms will be left without any banking services in the country.
- Land invaders in Olievenhoutbosch in Midrand say they are not going anywhere, and are adamant that the land they have now occupied illegally will be their home. People have been moving onto the unused piece of land since last week, having staked their claim to the land in December last year. The move is supported by the EFF ward councillor in the area.
- South Africa’s rand steadied on Monday, holding on to gains notched up in the previous session as a benign US jobs report eased worries about inflation and faster rate hikes. On Tuesday the rand was at R11.82 to the dollar, R16.42 to the pound and R14.57 to the euro.