Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The ANC is placing the blame for South Africa’s recession at the feet of the Jacob Zuma years, saying the country was reaping what years of maladministration had sowed. President Ramaphosa said the recession was part of the transitional process, and called for calm, saying things will improve. [Business Day/EWN]
- Merrill Lynch has followed Goldman Sachs in cutting South Africa’s growth forecast in the wake of the recession announcement, dropping it from 1.6% to 0.9% for 2018. Golamn Sachs cut the forecast from 2% to 0.8% earlier in the week. [eNCA]
- Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste has blamed everyone but himself for the mess Steinhoff has found itself in – pleading ignorance, and bringing the apparent total number of top executives who were aware of fraud and maladministration at the group to zero. Jooste said he resigned over issues with the group’s auditors. [Daily Maverick]
- Government has granted the SABC borrowing power of up to R1.2 billion in a bid to help it avoid total collapse. The public broadcaster this week reported a R622 million loss. Although it is not a government guarantee, the limit will give the SABC room to pay its suppliers and producers. 
- South Africa’s rand remained on the back foot on Wednesday after hitting a two-year low as the effects of dipping into recession dented investor risk sentiment. On Thursday the rand was at R15.50 to the dollar, R20.01 to the pound and R18.03 to the euro.