Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- S&P Global Ratings is scheduled to deliver its latest verdict on SA’s credit worthiness on Friday. With the verdict expected to be delivered sometime around midnight, there is fear that S&P will change its outlook to negative, given the poor states of Eskom, South African Airways and other state-owned enterprises. [BusinessDay]
- Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan says the grounding of SA Express is a result of corruption, which has taken a toll on a number of the country’s national assets. He added that the embattled carrier paid over R5.7 million to the Gupta-linked Trillian capital without following due process. [EWN]
- President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is committed to the independence of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), even as the government considers nationalising it. The ANC last year adopted a motion calling for government ownership of the SARB, which is one of only a few central banks worldwide that is privately owned. [Fin24]
- South Africa’s central bank chooses to call digital currencies such as Bitcoin “cyber-tokens” because they don’t meet the requirements to be classified as money. It added that its newly established a FinTech is currently reviewing the position on private cryptocurrencies and to help draw up an appropriate policy framework and regulatory regime. [Bloomberg]
- The rand firmed against major global currencies on Thursday afternoon, after the Reserve Bank kept rates on hold, in a unanimous decision. On Friday the rand was trading at R12.43 to the dollar, R16.62 to the pound and R14.56 to the euro.