Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- While many have celebrated the stronger rand in recent months, it has actually done damage to South African Airways, which is already in a troubled liquidity position. The failing airline reported a loss of almost R1 billion from currency conversions – half of that from March’s rand gains alone. [Bloomberg]
- South Africa’s top 100 municipalities would need a government bailout of over R22.4 billion if they were to get to a stable financial situation, a new Ratings Afrika report reveals. The group analysed the financial statements of the 100 largest municipalities in the country, and ranked them on the Municipal Financial Sustainability Index. [Ratings Afrika]
- Former finance minister Trevor Manuel has called the time under Jacob Zuma’s presidency a disaster, and questioned how it was able to continue as it did for so long. Manuel is part of president Cyril Ramaphosa’s team trying to draw foreign investment to SA. He said undoing the damage from the Zuma years will take a very long time. [eNCA]
- South Africans can expect some volatile economic times ahead – and more pain at the pumps in the coming months. Global and local economists are expecting political moves from the US to disrupt energy markets, with expectations that oil may hit $85 a barrel due to new sanctions likely being placed on Iran. 
- The rand weakened on Thursday, giving up the previous session’s gains as investors short on the local and other emerging currencies were squeezed out of those positions by a swift, albeit brief turnaround in the Turkish lira. On Friday the rand was at R12.59 to the dollar, R17.00 to the pound and R14.86 to the euro.