Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Property experts expect home prices to rise by 3.7% in 2019, which, with current inflation at 5.2%, represents a real decline of 1.5%. With a similar economic performance expected in 2019 as in 2018, buyers might be happier with the slowdown – but the experts warned that buying to let might be tricky, with renters under pressure. 
- The health department is working to prevent another listeriosis outbreak in South Africa, after the 2017 crisis claimed the lives of almost 200 people. A 2018 study found that the threat of listeriosis still exists. According to the department, protocols have been tightened and new ones developed for doctors to treat the disease. [ENCA]
- Google says it will expand its ad-blocking features to the rest of the world, after launching them in the US and Canada last year. The features will allow Chrome users to block pop-up adverts, videos and auto-playing sound. The features will be rolled out in July 2019. [ZDNet]
- Scandal hit Steinhoff’s restructuring plan is being challenged by one of its creditors – which has given no reasons for the challenge. The group is in the middle of trying to clean up its books after a major accounting fraud scandal broke in 2017. [Reuters]
- South Africa’s rand held steady on Thursday, as disappointing economic data were offset by market optimism over US-China trade tensions. On Friday the rand was at R13.82 to the dollar, R17.65 to the pound and R15.94 to the euro.