Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The North Gauteng High Court has found that Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report into the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede to be unconstitutional and invalid. The high court found that she either blatantly disregarded her constitutional duties or merely had a “concerning lack of understanding” of them during her investigation. It reviewed and set aside the report released by Mkhwebane in 2018, describing it as “unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid”. [BusinessDay]
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took his first step toward revamping his cabinet after May 8 elections, removing Environment Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who’d been accused of taking bribes during a judicial probe. Ramaphosa has made the fight against graft a top priority since taking office 15 months ago, replacing Jacob Zuma, whose nine-year tenure was marred by a litany of scandals. Mokonyane, who has denied any wrongdoing, will take a senior position in parliament. [Bloomberg]
- Former Transnet strategy manager Francis Callard has told the state capture commission of inquiry how costs related to locomotives were disregarded during the bid evaluation process in order to favour Chinese manufacturer, China North Rail. The costs were later added after the contract was awarded. He said bidders were asked to submit a quote which excluded the cost of using Transnet engineering as the main sub-contractor but this expense was later included. [EWN]
- A senior market risk analyst at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has told a judicial commission that former CEO Dan Matjila signed his approval for the investment of R3 billion in Iqbal Survé’s Sagarmatha Technologies prior to the deal going through the PIC’s investment committees. Survé’s Sekunjalo Investment Holdings had approached the PIC to participate in its listing of Sagarmatha on the JSE. It has been reported that the deal had not been through any of the appraisal structures of the PIC prior to Matjila signing it. [Moneyweb]
- South Africa’s rand made few waves on Monday, while overnight trade was also calm despite growing tension between the US and China after Google terminated Huawei’s Android licence. From a data perspective on Tuesday, investors will keep an eye on consumer confidence from the EU and existing home sales in the US. The rand is currently trading at R14.40 to the dollar, R16.07 to the euro and R18.32 to the pound.